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Larry's Letter - May 2017

05/10/2017 1:32 PM | Dawn Hipsley (Administrator)
Report for May Newsletter

The legislative session in Annapolis is now over.    Following are some of the things that may or may have affected business owners.

HB771 Public Health.     This bill streamlined and reduced the amount of effort a mobile food truck operator has to go through

HB531 Labor and Employment – Labor Regulations – Right to Work.   29 states have enacted “right to Work” legislation.  This allows an employee to choose whether or not to join a union.  This bill failed .

HB536 – Speed monitoring in Work Zones.     A bill to remove this failed.

HB 100  Income Tax Subtraction Modification – Retirement Income of Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services Personnel.    This bipartisan initiative gives tax relief to First Responders and Emergency Response Personnel.  The first $ 15,000 of retirement income for first responders and emergency personnel who are at least 55 years old will not be subject to state tax.

Paid Sick Leave   The General Assembly pushed forward with HB-1 Labor and Employment Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.  This legislation mandates up to 40 hours of “sick and safe” leave for employees who work for businesses with 15 or more employees.  In addition, HB 1 carries heavy fines for non-compliance.  This bill requires paid sick leave for part-time employees who work as little as 8 hours per week, and it does not exclude temporary seasonal employees. These provisions would allow a teenager working after school, as well as summer workers in Ocean City to qualify for paid sick leave.

The greatest concern regarding this bill are the employees that could lose their “paid time off.  Many employees get PTO that can be used for any situation, illness, vacation, etc.  With the state requiring mandatory sick leave, employees may lose their flexible PTO as it is reclassified and can only be used for “sick leave.” 

SB 317  -  More Jobs for Marylanders Act of 2017.   Is Governor’ Hogan’s jobs initiative that will spur job growth by providing tax incentives for new and existing manufacturers to hire more employees.  The bill targets jurisdictions across Maryland while giving priority to areas where job growth is not keeping pace with the rest of the state. These new business entities are required to offer job skill training programs or educational programs in order to foster a pipeline of potential workers.  The More Jobs for  Marylanders Act of 2017 will provide increase employment opportunities for areas across the state that need it most. 

SB 307 Roadkill Repeal  During the 2016 Legislative Session, the General Assembly passed a highly-partisan bill that meddled in Maryland’s transportation policy.  “Fixing” a problem that did not exist, the bill manipulated the process by which major transportation projects were funded and skewed the preference towards funding mass transit projects in urban areas.  Earning the name “The Road Kill Bill”, the legislation’s scoring system would kill all but 7 of the 73 major priority transportation projects in the state, with  the vast majority of all funding going to Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.  Governor Hogan made the repeal of this bill his # 1 priority in the 2017 session.  A compromise was reached in the Senate and the bill was amended to delay implementation of the bill while a workgroup of legislators and transportation officials study and issue a report regarding the scoring system.  This bill passed unanimously in the House and Senate.


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