Friday Five | April 16, 2021

A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.


1. Key Legislation Approved by the Maryland General Assembly 

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned its 2021 Legislative Session this Monday, marking the end of session packed with bills on issues from pandemic relief to police reform. Below is an overview of key bills that have become law or were sent to Governor Larry Hogan for his review. Hogan has until June 1 to sign or veto the bills or allow them to become law without his signature. 

Some of the legislation that passed during the 90-day session include:

For a full list of approved legislation approved by the Maryland General Assembly, please click here or join us next week for our Legislative Session Recap.


2. HB 581- Maryland Essential Protection Act (Employment Standards During an Emergency)

A heavily amended version of House Bill 581 passed the Maryland General Assembly late Monday night and is awaiting review from Governor Hogan. In general, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce (MDCC) is comfortable with the many changes that have been made to the bill and maintains a neutral position.

Broadly, the bill establishes the following rights, benefits, responsibilities, and obligations related to essential workers, essential employers and catastrophic health emergencies:

For more information, please visit the MGA Website.


3. SB 787 – Digital Advertising Gross Revenues Tax and Tobacco Tax – Alterations and Implementation

Due to the broad interpretation of what “digital goods” were subject to a new sales tax in HB932 of 2020, the MDCC formed a working group of tax experts to develop a set of recommended amendments providing clarity in the law. After much work, amendments on two major issues were agreed upon and included in SB 787, which passed Monday night and awaiting review from the Governor.

The amendments do two things:

For more information, please visit the MGA Website.


4. Climate Bill Dies as House and Senate Fail to Compromise

An effort to reconcile the competing versions of major environmental legislation collapsed in the final hours of the General Assembly session Monday night, declaring the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2021 dead. The MDCC opposed this bill as it would have required the state to comply with new costly requirements to achieve net-zero statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Senate President Bill Ferguson said he was “disappointed” that the climate bill did not get through but plans to enter the 2022 legislative session with a bolder and more robust package.

To read more, please click here.


5. 2022 Maryland Governor and Comptroller Races

With Maryland’s General Assembly session wrapped up, more potential candidates are coming out with news about their plans to run in 2022 for governor and comptroller positions. A major announcement came from Republican Secretary Kelly Schulz, who released a video talking about what has inspired her to run for governor. Joining her in the race is Former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, who announced on Friday that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor once again. Read more here.

During a press conference on Thursday, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R) announced that he will run for Comptroller. During remarks to supporters, the 59-year-old said “the comptroller is the voice of the taxpayer and is also their watchdog.” Delegate Brooke E. Lierman (D-Baltimore City) and Bowie Mayor Timothy J. Adams (D) have also launched comptroller campaigns, with other Democrats also considering a bid. Read more here


Next week: Join our government affairs team on April 21 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. for a deeper dive into the legislation relevant to the business community that passed or failed.

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