February 7, 2020
The much-awaited legislation to implement the “Blueprint for Maryland's Future” education reforms recommended by the Kirwan Commission has been introduced, and set for its public hearing. On February 17, an unusual Monday afternoon hearing with both the Senate and House Committees is expected to give stakeholders a thorough window to express their support, concerns, or proposals. The 126-page bill draft is the most comprehensive and far-reaching proposal for state school reform in the country, and promises to set Maryland’s education on a trajectory for “world class schools” statewide. Policy, funding, accountability and fiscal priorities will all collide in the center stage legislation of this political term.

Conduit Street Podcast Corner:
On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss the latest news and notes from Annapolis, including the long-awaited introduction of the Kirwan Commission bill, with far-reaching recommendations for school funding and outcomes; MACo’s partnership with LOCAL Maryland to fight against state preemption — including legislation to clarify the process for any future legislative preemption; and "cranky cancels."
Listen to any Conduit Street Podcast Episode: www.mdcounties.org/Podcast
Counties In Action
League of Women Voters to be Honored at George Washington's Birthday Convocation, Feb. 21
Howard County Honors Lt. Herman Charity with 'Living Legend" Resolution
Recreation & Parks Receives Two Marketing/Communications Awards from State Association

Corporate Partner Corner

MACo's Bronze Corporate Partner Panasonic , has set up a joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp. to develop electric vehicle batteries available to any automaker, beginning in April.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic Corp. have agreed to set up a joint venture that will begin developing electric vehicle batteries starting in April, as the Japanese companies gear up for an expected surge in demand.

The new company, called Prime Planet Energy and Solutions, will develop prismatic - or square-shaped - batteries that will be available to any automaker, the two companies said in a statement on Monday.

The venture, first announced in January 2019 , reflects the aim of the Japanese companies to become bigger global players in the automotive battery industry, which is vital for the development of affordable EVs. Stricter environmental regulations worldwide are accelerating a shift toward environmentally friendlier cars.

Panasonic has been the exclusive supplier of cylindrical batteries for U.S. EV maker Tesla Inc., but has been looking to expand its list of customers by stepping up development of the prismatic batteries more widely used in the industry. Tesla last month announced it would also source batteries from South Korea's LG Chem and China's CATL.

The two Japanese companies have been cooperating on battery research since at least 1996 when they set up a joint venture to make hybrid car batteries, called Primearth EV Energy.

For more information on Panasonic's latest innovations, visit their website .

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