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Baltimore County Council

Baltimore County

Overcrowded schools have been a profound problem in Baltimore County for three decades.

That’s according to a county councilman who wants to create a task force to study the law that controls developments in school districts.

Baltimore County Public Schools

Update to the story: 

By a 78% majority, The Baltimore County Teachers Union voted to ratify the contract which takes effect July 1.

Original post: 

Baltimore County teachers this week are voting on a new contract.

Under the proposed deal, teachers would get a raise, but not as much as they had expected.

Courtesy Architect of the Capitol

The HEROES Act, the $3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that passed the House last month, remains stalled in the Senate.

About one third of that money would go to help state and local governments weather the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.

Local officials are trying to make the case to Congress that basic services could be cut if the act doesn’t pass.

John Lee

The Baltimore County Council passed Friday its  budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1,  but not before an acrimonious debate over whether to cut property taxes.  

Council members said they had to make historic cuts totaling nearly $59 million to the budget to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Lee

The Baltimore County Council is poised to pass a budget for the coming fiscal year Friday with historic levels of cuts.

County employees likely will see raises deferred and the school system will take a hit as well. At the same time, the Republican minority on the council is considering proposing a tax cut at Friday’s meeting.

Baltimore County

The Baltimore County Council voted Thursday to delay making deep cuts into the county budget. 

Council members are crossing their fingers that financial aid is coming soon from Congress.

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

The Baltimore County Council is expected to make what one councilman said will be historic budget cuts on Thursday.

The county is dealing with a budget shortfall projected to be at least $172 million, caused by the wrecking of the economy by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuts to the school budget as well as delaying pay increases for county employees are on the table.

John Lee

Baltimore County’s police chief said Tuesday people are driving horrendously during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baltimore County

States and localities across the country are hoping for help from Washington as they grapple with huge deficits.

They are spending millions responding to COVID-19 while at the same time their tax revenues are drying up.

Baltimore County has received $144 million in help from the federal government, but it can't be used to plug a revenue shortfall estimated at close to $200 million.

John Lee

It might sound mundane, but a proposal to change the start time of one of its meetings sparked weeks of debates and arguments behind closed doors by the usually mild mannered Baltimore County Council.

John Lee

The Maryland Department of the Environment in April will begin notifying downstream localities about plans for wastewater discharge permits.

This is a direct result of last year’s controversy over plans by a Harford County mega church to build a wastewater treatment plant that would have discharged into Little Gunpowder Falls, according to Baltimore County Delegate Dana Stein.

John Lee

Owners of donation bins in Baltimore County would be more tightly regulated under legislation the county council will consider Tuesday afternoon.

Council members say the bins have become dumping grounds.

John Lee

 

This week, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski will begin holding town hall meetings on the budget for this coming year.

Last year, the county raised taxes for the first time in a generation to close an $81 million shortfall. But officials say that does not mean the county is out of the fiscal woods yet, and tough decisions lie ahead.

WYPR’s John Lee joined Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner in the studio to talk about what is at stake.

Baltimore County

Gun shop owners in Baltimore County will have to make their stores more secure under controversial legislation passed Tuesday night by the county council. WYPR’s  Baltimore County reporter John Lee joined Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner to give the details.

Baltimore County

  

The Baltimore County Council Tuesday night is expected to approve the hiring of the county’s first executive director for ethics and accountability.

 

 

The Associated Press

Baltimore County gun shops would have to beef up their security under a proposal that was before the county council Tuesday. 

 

County Executive Johnny Olszewski said more has to be done to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. But some council members raised concerns the proposal would put too much of a burden on small businesses. 

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins Monday night was tapped to be the chairwoman of the council for the coming year. Democrats control the council and take turns being chair.

 

 

John Lee

The Mountain Christian Church controversy, which caused a rare public disagreement between Baltimore and Harford Counties, is leading to legislation in the General Assembly. It would require the Maryland Department of the Environment to contact localities that would be directly affected by proposed wastewater discharge permits. 

 

 

Baltimore County

Baltimore County has gotten the green light from the federal government to require most landlords to accept housing vouchers, also called section 8.

 

According to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, the controversial legislation passed by the county council last month has been approved by The Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 

 

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced Thursday that he is nominating Kelly Madigan, a career prosecutor, for the job of rooting out corruption, fraud and abuse in county government. 

 

Madigan will be the first leader of the county’s newly created office of ethics and accountability.

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski begins his second year in office this week. 

 

Challenges ahead for Olszewski in 2020 include getting state money for the county’s old, crowded schools and dealing with a rising crime rate. 

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County will prohibit landlords from rejecting would-be tenants because they use housing vouchers, also known as section 8. 

 

The Baltimore County Council approved the controversial legislation Monday night in a vote that went straight down party lines.The four Democrats on the county council voted for it. The three Republicans voted against. 

 

 

John Lee

It was standing room only in the Baltimore County Council Chambers Tuesday afternoon, as the council heard from both sides of the controversial issue of housing vouchers. 

 

Meantime, the odds may be improving that the legislation will pass the county council when it comes up for a vote next week.

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

Housing vouchers, also known as section 8: are they a helping hand for people in need or do they threaten neighborhoods? 

 

The Baltimore County Council has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday afternoon on legislation that would forbid landlords from rejecting would-be tenants because they use the vouchers. 

 

Thousands of people in Baltimore County find themselves on opposite sides of the controversy.

 

 

John Lee

Mountain Christian Church, a mega-church in Harford County, has backed off plans to build a wastewater treatment plant that would have released its discharge into a tributary of Little Gunpowder Falls.

 

 

John Lee

The Baltimore County Council is expected to vote Monday night on whether it will sue Monsanto Company for contaminating the county’s environment with Polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs.

 

WYPR’s Baltimore County reporter John Lee and Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner hashed out the details.

 

 

John Lee

It appears the live music ban in Catonsville and Arbutus will be lifted. 

 

Following a public hearing Tuesday, The Baltimore County Council is poised to make a change in zoning law to let songs fill the air legally in those two towns.

 

 

AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

 

 

Baltimore County is looking to raise the legal age to buy cigarettes or any other tobacco product from 18 to 21.

 

Legislation being proposed by County Executive Johnny Olszewski also would ban the sale of e-cigarette devices to anyone in Baltimore County under the age of 21.

 

 

John Lee

 

Counties usually stay out of each other’s business, but the Baltimore County Council voted unanimously on Monday night to oppose a Harford County megachurch’s plans to build a wastewater treatment plant.

 

 

John Lee

At the Maryland Marina on Frogmortar Creek in Middle River, workers were recently moving a lift into place to pull a boat out of the water.

 

“These guys would not be working here if there wasn’t a waterfront,” said Robert Palmer with the Marine Trades Association of Baltimore County.

 

 

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