A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.
1. For businesses in Maryland, paid family and medical leave a ‘giant question mark’
Before the 2022 legislative session ended on April 11, Democratic lawmakers were able to pass a bill that creates a paid family leave program which has left many questions unanswered for both employers and workers. As passed, the law gives workers up to 12 weeks annually of paid time off to take care of a new child, medical problems, or a family member’s serious illness or military deployment. It would also make employees eligible to receive up to a weekly maximum of $1,000 for up to 12 weeks if they have worked at least 680 hours over a 12-month period.
As the Maryland General Assembly continues to work out important details of the program, such as the contribution rate of both employers and workers, our VP of Government Affairs Andrew Griffin discusses in-depth how the Maryland business community should prepare.
2. What the Maryland General Assembly did for businesses in the 2022 session
Many top issues remained in the public eye during the 90-day legislative session regarding the state’s budget, legislative redistricting and paid family leave, causing some bills that could potentially have a positive impact across many Maryland businesses to go under the radar. Here’s a rundown of some of those bills:
To view the full list of bills click here.
3. Md. Chamber: T. Rowe Price sets a leadership example
On March 29, our President & CEO Mary Kane attended the groundbreaking in Harbor Point for the new headquarters of T. Rowe Price, which coincided with the firm’s 85th anniversary. In a letter to the editor published in the Baltimore Sun, Kane recognizes T. Rowe for their dedication to staying true to their Baltimore roots and for continuing to support the communities they serve.
“From this proud Marylander and on behalf of the Maryland business community, thank you Rob Sharps and your team at T. Rowe Price. This groundbreaking signifies more than just a new building, it illustrates your integrity, strong values and true engagement with your community,” said Kane. “Your moral compass was on full display with this announcement, and we couldn’t be happier to see it pointing right to downtown Baltimore.”
Read the full letter here.
4. Maryland gains 3,900 jobs in Maryland in March, unemployment rate declines
Data released by the U.S. Department of Labor last Friday showed that Maryland added 3,900 jobs in March, with the biggest gain coming from the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 4,100 jobs. According to the data, March marked two months in a row of job gains for Maryland and the lowest point for the state’s unemployment rate (4.6%) since before the pandemic. Overall, even though Maryland remains short of 78,800 jobs, or 2.8% below is pre-pandemic level in February 2020, the economy is showing an upward trend in its recovery.
Read the full story here.
5. SBA releases ‘equity plan’ to better serve minority-owned businesses
Last week, the Small Business Administration released an equity plan alongside dozens of other federal agencies to reduce lending and program disparities among minority entrepreneurs. The plan includes:
“The SBA’s Equity Action Plan reaffirms our agency-wide commitment to breaking down longstanding barriers to ensure underserved entrepreneurs can access the capital, networks, resources, and opportunity they need to realize their American dream of business ownership,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman in a press release announcing the plan.
Read the full story here.
NEXT WEEK! Webinar | Complying with Maryland’s New Employment Laws
in partnership with Shawe Rosenthal LLP
Join us next Thursday, April 28 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., for a complimentary webinar giving you a brief overview of this year’s session with a focus on providing guidance on compliance with Maryland’s new employment laws, including: