A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.
1. Hogan signs bills on public safety, tax credit for jobs and more
Governor Larry Hogan signed measures into law last Thursday to increase safety, jobs, environmental stewardship and mental health resources. One of the bills signed aims to increase transparency in the criminal justice system to strengthen prosecutions of gun crimes. A measure was also passed to extend tax incentives for manufacturers that are located or expand in Maryland and create new jobs. Lastly, with the phone number 988 set to become the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in July, Hogan signed a bill to create a fund to support mental and behavioral health call centers.
“We’re getting Marylanders back to work, investing in our students and in education, putting a greater focus on mental and behavioral health, ensuring safer communities, creating a clean sustainable environment and protecting your private information in a growing virtual world,” said House Speaker Adrienne Jones.
Read the full story here.
2. Federal government moving money-printing facility from Washington to Beltsville Agricultural Research Center site
On Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan announced the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing is relocating its currency printing plant from Washington D.C. to the 104-acre campus of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The construction of this new $1.4 billion facility, which will employ approximately 850 on-site workers and 600 remote employees, will be managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Baltimore District, and is scheduled to be completed by early 2027. According to the Maryland Department of Commerce, the relocation will shorten the commute for the 65% of Bureau of Engraving and Printing employees who live in Maryland.
“More than 60 federal agencies call Maryland home, along with dozens of military facilities and federal research and development labs,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill in a statement. “This Beltsville site will provide the convenience the BEP needs to increase its production and advance its manufacturing process, while providing a quality workplace for its employees.”
Read the full story here.
3. Maryland set to ‘transform’ its state park system amid record usage, making massive investment in ranger, new sites
Maryland is set to invest tens of millions of dollars in its state parks in response to increased usage, which has more than doubled in the last decade. The number of state park visitors hit a record high of 21.7 million last year. Meanwhile, the number of rangers has stagnated, and the price tag for a backlog of maintenance projects is $68 million and growing. To address this, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Great Maryland Outdoors Act, which became law earlier this month and includes some of the following provisions:
Funding for this legislation will come from Maryland’s historic budget surplus, which proponents believe aided its smooth passage and prevented them from choosing between funding for education or parks. Instead, they were able to do both.
Read the full story here.
4. 10 state Senate primaries to watch
Now that the state’s redistricting challenges have ended and the candidate filing deadline for this year’s election has passed, it’s time to look ahead to some of the most competitive legislative primaries on the July 19th ballot. With fewer and fewer purple legislative districts in Maryland, much of the action over the last few election cycles has been in the primary. This year, it is expected that no more than half a dozen competitive Senate races will take place in the general election. But many Senate incumbents have drawn intra-party challenges and most of the seven open-seat Senate primaries are also expected to be hard-fought, making this a very competitive primary election.
Maryland Matters has compiled a list of 10 Senate primaries to keep an eye on over the next 12 weeks. Click here to view the list.
5. U.S. Chamber of Commerce: What businesses need to know about the World Bank and IMF meetings
Policymakers responsible for almost all the public money in the world met in Washington, D.C. last week for their annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings. Issues such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the recent spike in inflation were addressed, bringing to light some noteworthy global economic figures. Some of those numbers include:
Find out what business leaders are saying and what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce believes are the next steps by clicking here.
This is it, fellow Marylanders! Inspire MD is less than two weeks away!
You’re invited to join us on May 12 alongside 300+ professionals to celebrate everything that makes the business community so amazingly unique.
+ get a ”Taste of Maryland” from various stand-out local breweries, wineries and distilleries and experience the creation station, chalk wall and photo booth throughout the event!