Tag Archives: Maryland

SOCIAL IMPACT BONDS

Source: Jessica Hathaway, NCSL, July 12, 2016
Overview

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), a type of pay-for-success funding agreement, are a private financing mechanism used to fund social programs. SIBs are gaining interest from policymakers at all levels of government as a way to mitigate the simultaneous demands of tight budgets and rising social service costs. To date, state level SIB activity has centered on legislative efforts to authorize the process, create study committees, begin pilot projects, engage in feasibility studies and learn which types of programs this financing tool can be effectively used for. …

Use of Social Impact Bonds at the State Level

At least 24 states and the District of Columbia have considered, are considering or are implementing SIB related projects. Of these, 11 states—Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah —and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation. Legislative introductions and enactments range from establishing study committees to creating funds and supporting pilot projects. Enacted legislative actions are listed below. …

See list of enacted Social Impact Bond bills.

States Diversifying Use of Public-Private Partnerships in Infrastructure

Source: Sean Slone, Council of State Governments, May June 2016

When U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx finished his remarks at the recent InfraAmericas conference on public-private partnerships, or P3s, in New York City, Kentucky state Rep. Leslie Combs was first to the microphone for the Q&A. “We just passed P3 legislation in Kentucky,” said Combs, who this spring authored the legislation that allows Kentucky, like 33 other states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, to enter into P3s to build infrastructure projects. … But Kentucky’s first announced infrastructure P3 is not a toll road or a major bridge project. In fact, at the behest of anti-toll interests in the northern part of the state, Kentucky’s legislation specifically prohibits the use of tolls on any P3 project connecting Kentucky and Ohio, such as a potential replacement for the functionally obsolete Brent Spence Bridge. Instead, the commonwealth’s first P3 project is KentuckyWired, a partnership to create a statewide, open-access fiber optic broadband network. …

… Indeed many of the infrastructure P3 projects garnering the buzz at this year’s InfraAmericas forum were somewhat different from those the U.S. P3 industry has become accustomed to over the last decade. The conference highlighted projects at major U.S. airports and on university campuses. There were transit project P3s, alternative fuel, highway lighting and water infrastructure projects and a variety of social and civic infrastructure projects—public buildings and the like—in the spotlight as well.

Transform the Poverty Industry: Stop States Pocketing Aid via Contractors

Source: Daniel Hatcher, Non-Profit Quarterly, June 29, 2016

To shore up its budget, New Jersey is taking federal government assistance away from school children from poor families. The state has hired a private contractor called the Public Consulting Group to access more school-based federal Medicaid funds. This money is intended to help schools serve special education needs more effectively, but New Jersey has diverted over 80 percent of the funds to its general coffers for other uses—effectively taking tens of millions of dollars from school children every year. …

… In Maryland, the state foster care agency has hired a company called Maximus, Inc. to find children whose parents are deceased and to increase the number of children who are determined to be disabled. This is not to provide them with more help, but to enable the state to take their disability and survivor benefits. In a prior contract to lay the groundwork for this effort, Maximus described foster children as a “revenue generating mechanism.” …

… It’s clear that a fundamental realignment of purpose is required. The poverty industry combines the vast powers of government with the profit-seeking appetites of private enterprise. This collaboration can do some good if partnerships are properly constructed and regulated closely, but only if public entities lead the way. State governors and directors of human service agencies control all contracts with private companies, so rather than using them to take resources away from foster children they could encourage contractors to help children obtain their disability and survivor benefits to conserve the children’s funds in planning for their future transition out of foster care. To be clear, I’m not arguing that government aid programs should be cut. On the contrary, current levels of public assistance are significantly insufficient to meet current needs. If states are misusing resources, then the appropriate response is not to cut the funding but to stop the misuse. …

How Local Foster Care Plays A Role In “The Poverty Industry” (Audio)

Source: The Kojo Nnamdi Show, June 28, 2016

Government aid is designed to supplement the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable. But what happens when funds don’t go where they’re supposed to? Kojo speaks with two local foster children advocates on how state governments and private companies make money off of local safety net systems, and what can be done to further protect children, the disabled, elderly and poor.

Guests:
Daniel Hatcher Author of “The Poverty Industry” and Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore

Melissa Rock Child Welfare Policy Director, Advocates For Children And Youth

Servicing Our Economy: Producer Service Location and Government Procurement 2004–2010 in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area

Source: S. C. Christopher, R. D. Vese, M. A. Boyd, A. D. Reddy, A. P. Mulhollen, D. E. Zand and T. F. Leslie, Growth of Change, May 15, 2016

Abstract:

Harrington and Campbell (1997) previously illuminated the pattern of producer services’ suburbanization in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area between 1970 and 1992. Their results showed producer services growing at a faster rate at locations farther from the central city. We revisit the topic utilizing data from 2004 to 2010, assessing not only changes in the distribution of producer services since their work, but also the impact of massive increases in defense spending on producer services’ growth throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century. Multivariate linear regression is used to estimate per capita growth of producer services employment using six independent variables. Our results reveal producer services employment during the time period has grown significantly more quickly in the urban D.C. core than the outer suburbs, contrary to Harrington and Campbell’s research. Additionally, we find per capita producer services employment is self-limiting over the study period: locations with more producer services employment in 2004 experienced significantly less producer services growth over the period. We find federal procurement has no correlation on producer services overall, with limited effects on some subsectors. Analyzing a select group of producer services subsectors revealed that no sectors followed the overall model exactly, suggesting that targeting producer services for growth must be done carefully. None of our models show employment diversity to be a factor in differentiating economic growth at the intra-metropolitan level.

Anne Arundel nurses protest privatization options

Source: Cindy Huang, Capital Gazette, June 6, 2016

To protest privatizing school health programs, nurses and health assistants colored the Arundel Center red Monday with their shirts, signs and paper hearts. A line of about 40 nurses chanted “support school health” Monday as they waved signs and cheered on honking cars. … Last month, County Executive Steve Schuh’s plans to explore private options for school health program management was made public, causing concern, confusion and speculation. Schuh said his goal is to improve pay, benefits and career for the approximate 300 public school health staff, who work under the county Health Department. County officials sent out requests for information to seven companies, including Baltimore Washington Medical Center and Anne Arundel Medical Center, according to an email from the county purchasing agent, Andrew Hime, to the county Health Officer, Dr. Jinlene Chan. … The county allocated about $12.4 million for the school health program this fiscal year. More than $10 million paid for salaries, according to the health department. A registered nurse makes about $45,400, according to job postings on the county Health Department website. And a health assistant makes about $17,000. …

State: No plans to privatize or close Western Md. Hospital Center

Source: Tamela Baker, Herald Mail, May 26, 2016

Concerns that the Western Maryland Hospital Center might be privatized or closed are premature because there currently are no plans to do either, according to a state health official. Although the state-owned acute-care facility on Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown is slated to close its renal-dialysis program in fiscal 2017, the state has no plans to privatize or close the hospital, Christopher Garrett, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said Wednesday. … Altogether, 15.5 positions are being abolished in the fiscal 2017 budget, Garrett said. Although Garrett told Herald-Mail Media in March that the health agency would issue a request for proposals this summer “to explore options,” which is a required first step if the hospital were to be privatized, he said that the department no longer plans to do that. … That anxiety culminated in a forum Saturday in Hagerstown, sponsored by AFSCME Local 354, the union representing many of the hospital center’s workers. …

Related:

State hospital workers who expected to be fired will keep jobs
Source: Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun, May 24, 2016

Almost 70 state dietary services workers who were scheduled to be fired and replaced by private contractors will instead keep their jobs, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed Tuesday. The employees, most of whom work at the Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville, were to be terminated under the budget submitted by Gov. Larry Hogan to the General Assembly in January. The workers were informed Monday that the plan to contract out their work had been canceled. … Also spared were workers at the John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents in Rockville. They prepare and distribute food to residential patients at the mental health facilities. …

Community forum planned on Western Md. Hospital Center cuts, possible privatization
Source: CJ Lovelace, Herald Mail, May 13, 2016

… The job cuts set to take effect when the new fiscal years begins July 1 include 8.5 full-time equivalent positions — 7.5 filled and one vacant — in the hospital’s renal dialysis unit, which is closing. Other positions to be eliminated include five vacant jobs, as well as a therapeutic-recreation job and Ankeney’s position that would be replaced by a contracted X-ray service. State health officials have said the cuts were needed to help offset large increases in health insurance and retirement expenses projected to cost close to $1.5 million. … Meritus Health has handled the management of the facility since 2014, in the wake of dozens of patient-care deficiencies found under previous leadership. The local provider has signed a three-year, $2.6 million contract extension through June 30, 2018. …

Hogan trumpets his success in daylong visit to Frederick County
Source: Nancy Lavin and Paige Jones, Frederick News-Post, March 16, 2016

For some employees facing layoffs from Springfield Hospital Center in Carroll County, Hogan’s words about job growth seemed hypocritical. Close to 60 workers are expected to be laid off from the Sykesville hospital as part of efforts to privatize the institution, The Baltimore Sun has reported. A dozen of them gathered outside Frederick City Hall on Wednesday with signs and petitions bearing 600 signatures asking Hogan not to cut their jobs. …

Western Md. Hospital Center ‘not just a regular nursing home’
Source: CJ Lovelace, Herald-Mail Media, March 14, 2016

The state-owned facility, off Pennsylvania Avenue north of Hagerstown, has been eyed for possible privatization during talks in recent months as the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene considers cost-cutting measures. The center’s renal-dialysis unit is on the chopping block come July, but the nearly 300 union workers at the facility are making their collective voices heard about keeping the facility under state ownership. … While privatization surely could affect the workers, it’s the effect a move to the private sector could have on patient care that is the greatest concern for employees. … Sheridan said she’s worked at for-profit nursing homes in the past, and the level of care suffers when administrators are forced to choose between their patients and their bottom line. Dating back to the 1950s, the hospital center also serves an essential function in the region that other nursing facilities cannot match, Hockman said, providing care for “very complex, very chronic” conditions.

State mulls job cuts, privatizing Western Md. Hospital Center
Source: CJ Lovelace, Herald-Mill Media, February 18, 2016

State health officials are considering eliminating the renal-dialysis program at the Western Maryland Hospital Center, contributing to the loss of about 15 jobs that could be cut to help offset rising costs, according to budget discussions. Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene officials also have discussed possibly privatizing the state-owned specialty-care hospital on Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown’s North End. … Although the layoffs are an issue, the potential privatization has garnered more concern in the community, particularly among the roughly 250 state workers at the facility. During a recent state Senate Budget and Taxation subcommittee meeting, state Health Secretary Van T. Mitchell said the agency might “test the waters” this summer by issuing a request for proposals to private companies that would be interested in taking over ownership of the facility.

A New Funding Strategy from the Clean Water Partnership P3

Source: Greg Cannito, Water Utility Infrastructure Management, April 20, 2016

Signed in March 2015, the Clean Water Partnership is a long-term public-private partnership between Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Corvias Solutions, to retrofit up to 4,000 acres of impervious surfaces using green infrastructure and low-impact development practices in the first three years and operate and maintain over the remaining life of the 30-year partnership. Corvias intends to deliver compliant, sustainable stormwater infrastructure with accelerated timelines and reduced costs, in accordance with Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and U.S. EPA standards. … MDE’s Water Quality Revolving Loan Fund (also known as the State Revolving Fund) provides below-market rate loans to encourage capital investments in water projects, in accordance with the Federal Clean Water Act and the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Up until now, State Revolving Funds have primarily been used to fund construction of wastewater treatment plants. However, exploratory conversations with MDE revealed the historical barriers to utilizing State Revolving Funds for stormwater management. State Revolving Funds offer a lower interest rates to regulated communities and even lower interest rates to Disadvantaged Communities equal to 25 percent of the market rate, for an all-in rate of 1.20 percent (compared to the standard rate of 50 percent of the Market Rate, 2.00 percent). This saves over $9 million compared to typical municipal debt financing. … While many types of P3 structures exist, the private partner in the relationship has traditionally not sought out state financing for the public partner. However, Prince George’s County and Corvias could not let this opportunity slip by. While MDE’s financing program had not been invested in a significant amount of stormwater work previously due to the piecemealed nature of stormwater project delivery, the aggregated nature of the Clean Water Partnerships delivery structure and their ability to execute larger scopes in a shorter period of time enabled the $48 million loan application—and the combination of cost of capital, flexible terms, and its unique characteristics made it the optimal source of financing available to fund the large volume of stormwater projects.

Related:

A New P3 Model for Building Green Infrastructure
Source: Daniel C. Vock, Governing, May 27, 2015

One Maryland county is testing a unique public-private partnership that would not only save money but also help the environment and local economy. Leaders in Maryland’s Prince George’s County face an enormous task in complying with a federal “pollution diet” to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Over the next decade, the county must convert 15,000 acres of watertight surfaces — almost 5 percent of the county’s total area — into surfaces that will either soak up or treat rainwater. To meet that deadline, Prince George’s will have to add some 46,000 stormwater devices, said Adam Ortiz, the director of the county’s environment department. “This isn’t like building one high school or a bridge. We’re building tens of thousands of little ecosystems in some of our most disadvantaged areas. We need a new approach.” So Prince George’s, which borders Washington, D.C., is turning to a public-private partnership to help install the rain gardens, cisterns, permeable pavements, and other devices for filtering and absorbing stormwater. Slowing the rapid runoff from roads and rooftops could reduce pollution that flows into sewers and, eventually, into the Chesapeake Bay. Using a public-private partnership to build green infrastructure on such a large scale is novel in itself. But the county is especially excited about the potential economic boost and other societal benefits the deal could bring to the region. Its partnership with Corvias Solutions includes incentives for all of those goals. …. Prince George’s County, for its part, will test whether Corvias can deliver on its promises. Initially, the company will be charged with converting 2,000 acres by 2017. But if it performs well, that amount could double. Meanwhile, a team of county workers will be “racing” Corvias to build stormwater improvements. The county team will also have 2,000 acres to work on so that officials can compare the two approaches. That information will help the county decide whether to expand the public-private partnership. It will also help other jurisdictions decide whether they also want to try something similar. …..

Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2015

…EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center will serve as a resource for communities, municipal utilities, and private entities as they seek to address water infrastructure needs with limited budgets. The Center will support communities and explore creative and innovative financing practices, including public-private partnerships. It will build on the highly successful State Revolving Fund and other EPA programs and those of its federal partners and explore ways to leverage these programs to increase investment in the water sector. The Center will build partnerships and support work that brings together investors and interested communities. It will be an avenue to expand technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, workshops, case studies and toolkits for financing alternatives.

The Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center will:
– Explore innovative financial tools, public-private partnership opportunities and non-traditional finance concepts to better leverage existing federal funding programs. An example of a recent public-private partnership in the water sector is the EPA, Maryland Department of Environment and Prince George’s County Public-Private Partnership Model to Accelerate Green Stormwater Controls and Support Local Job Creation.
– Explore ways to increase financing climate-resilient water infrastructure projects through integration of water efficiency, energy efficiency, water reuse and green infrastructure.
– Support communities to develop sustainable sources of funding for water infrastructure, particularly through stormwater utilities and green infrastructure projects.
– Collaborate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Services and other federal agencies to maximize its support for small community drinking water and wastewater systems and increase small systems’ technical, managerial and financial capacities….

….For more information about water infrastructure needs for your state, see the table: Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs by State

Maryland Stadium Authority asked to fund private conference hotel in Frederick

Source: Peter Samuel, Maryland Reporter, April 20, 2016

Maryland Stadium Authority officials begin talks soon with a Frederick team over a complicated deal for a public-private partnership to finance a $70 million downtown conference center hotel on Frederick’s Carroll Creek Park. The authority is reluctant to lend money to a private hotel operator but the city of Frederick doesn’t want to accept responsibility for losses that would put its taxpayers “on the hook.” The MSA is being asked to agree to a scheme by which state bond monies are formally lent to the city for a city-owned conference center, but then are immediately passed on to the hotel developer, who in turn will build a 200-room hotel and the conference center while undertaking to carry its expected operating losses. … Stadium Authority officials have insisted they will lend only to the City of Frederick for a city- owned conference center and that the city agree to accept liability for operating losses. Frederick City officials are in a political bind. They have repeatedly told local citizens the private developer will take responsibility for losses, so they want an agreement that passes their liability to the MSA on to hotel operator Plamondon. Whether such a deal can be crafted that is politically and legally viable  remains to be seen.

What Happens If You Pay Contractors Only When Their Programs Work?

Source: Charles S. Clark, Government Executive, April 20, 2016

The Obama administration is “doubling down” on its study of the “pay for success” approach to funding social services programs after they demonstrate results, rather than in advance. … The Obama administration is “doubling down” on its study of the “pay for success” approach to funding social services programs after they demonstrate results, rather than in advance. … The feasibility studies will be funded in locations such as Boise, Idaho, Baltimore and parts of Virginia and Arizona, OMB said. In total almost 70 projects in 29 states and the District of Columbia are in the works. A grantee called the Nonprofit Finance Fund has been helping nine PFS projects structure the agreements that are the “backbone of PFS projects,” they wrote. Other grantees include the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab, the Institute for Child Success, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Third Sector Capital Partners and the University of Utah Sorenson Impact Center. …