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Legislative Newsletter




District 34 Night


We recently hosted District 34 Night in Annapolis where many local leaders and community members gathered to celebrate Harford County and discuss local issues I was thrilled to have Senate President Ferguson join us along with former Delegate Luedtke who is currently the Governor’s Chief Legislative Officer. I was also happy to host County Executive Cassily and everyone else who attended. The District 34 team is excited to host another district night next year.


 

Juvenile Justice Reform


Given the increase in shootings and vehicle thefts committed by youth in Maryland, juvenile justice reform remains a top priority for the General Assembly this session. Governor Wes Moore recently joined us in Annapolis to address the subject. You can watch the full press conference by clicking this link


The Juvenile Law Reform Bill proposes many changes that seek to enhance accountability and rehabilitation. If you would like to follow the progress of this bill, you may click the links below:


 

Chesapeake Bay Trust


As a resident of Havre de Grace, I have an immense appreciation for the Chesapeake Bay. I am happy to announce that the Chesapeake Bay Trust has continued to support local projects. The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit created by the Maryland General Assembly whose purpose is to provide grants to schools, community groups, faith-based organizations, local governments, and non-profit entities to improve the watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Coastal Bays, and the Youghiogheny River. Recent grants for projects located within Harford County are as follows:


-Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding, $74,769 for a cistern, rain barrels, and outdoor classroom;

-Ecotone LLC, $65,000 to grow trees for their Urban Trees Program;

-Harford Land Trust, Inc., $23,211 to teach landowners about pollinator habits;

-Harford Soil Conservation District, $100,300 for stream restoration;

-Hickory Elementary School, $1,092 for an outdoor classroom;

-Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC), $27,474 for green team training for five congregations;

-Maryland Troopers Association, $3,083 for two pollinator gardens at the Bel Air Barracks;

-John Carroll School, $92,840, for the development of a campus greening plan and design of stormwater management practices


 

10 Million Dollars for Small Business Grants


Governor Wes Moore recently announced $10,000,000 for small business and community development grants through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Project Restore 2.0 and Business Boost grant programs. The funding will activate vacant spaces in business corridors, support small businesses with start-up or expansion funds, create jobs, and increase local economic activity. 


“When storefronts close down, our entire state feels it. Now is the time to work in partnership with the private sector to revitalize our business districts, and that’s what this grant funding is about,” said Gov. Moore. Together, we will continue to make Maryland more competitive by moving in concert with entrepreneurs and small businesses - not in conflict with them.”


Project Restore 2.0 will provide $8 million to designated Main Streets, Arts and Entertainment Districts and other economic development organizations in a designated Sustainable Community. Grants of up to $300,000 per applicant will go to organizations that have identified priority vacant storefronts or buildings in local business districts. Those organizations would then sub-grant the funding to businesses for rental assistance, renovation, and equipment to activate those vacant spaces. Businesses that receive sub-granted funds will have until December 2025 to open and be operational. 


Business Boost is launching its first round of grant funding with $2 million that will be awarded directly to eligible small business owners in amounts between $20,000 and $50,000. The businesses must be new or expanding and located in designated Sustainable Communities. Preference will be given to businesses that are home-based and seeking their first commercial location, are designated as a Minority Business Enterprise, that are innovated, focused on regional strengths to grow local economies, or leverage partnerships between school districts or other education institutions in Maryland. 


Applications will be open on March 13 for small business owners to apply through Business Boost and for economic development organizations to apply through Project Restore 2.0. For more information on either grant opportunity, go to https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Business/Pages/Small-Business-Grants.aspx.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact my office 410-841-3158 or marydulany.james@senate.state.md.us.


Sincerely,

Mary-Dulany James

Senator

Harford County

Maryland General Assembly


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