A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.
1. Maryland General Assembly overrides Hogan’s veto of new congressional map
Within hours of Governor Hogan’s veto of the proposed congressional map sent to his desk by the Maryland General Assembly, both chambers convened to override it. Maryland Democrats, who hold the supermajority in both chambers, argue that the new map keeps most of the population in their same districts and reflects the state’s growing diversity. Opponents argue the redistricting plan is not a fair representation of Marylanders and vowed to continue fighting the maps in court.
2. Maryland Democrats prepare for Senate showdown over medical leave, child care and other ‘Build Back Better’ priorities
The Build Back Better package passed by Congress last month aimed at reducing child care and prescription drug costs, combating climate change and expanding health care, now faces an upward climb hill in the Senate where it will take its final shape. Several provisions in the bill have already been identified by Maryland lawmakers as top priorities, including the extension of the current child tax credit and the addition of four weeks of paid family and medical leave for workers. Opposition to some of these priorities is on the rise as the corporate tax needed to pay for them increases, making the outcome unpredictable.
3. Maryland child care providers say they need higher enrollment and funding to survive
During the comptroller’s workgroup hearing examining pandemic stimulus spending on Wednesday, Maryland child care advocates stated that although the additional aid has been critical in stabilizing their industry, child care providers continue to struggle to stay afloat and need more help. Since the pandemic hit the state in March 2020, Maryland has lost 751 child care providers, and facilities continue to close due to increased expenses, lower enrollment and the shortage of workers. During the hearing, Executive Director of Maryland State Childcare Association Christina Peusch was asked what the state could do in the upcoming legislative session to help with the current child care crisis, click here to find out what she had to say.
Your voice matters! Now more than ever, your voice can be the driving force to advance legislation in the upcoming session to address critical issues, such as increasing child care availability, so that more Marylanders can return to work. Join our action network here and receive text and email alerts to connect with your representatives in just one click.
4. Judge blocks Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors
On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked President Biden’s vaccine mandate requiring employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 18 to prevent losing eligibility for new or extended contracts. The order came in response to a lawsuit from several contractors and seven states including, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia. As of now, all three of Biden’s vaccine mandates affecting the private sector have been halted by the courts. But the Biden administration has not shown signs of deviating from its strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 788,000 Americans since last year.
Read the full story here.
5. ADP reports November payroll increased by 534,000
As the labor market continues to recover from the shortfalls brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, recent data from the payroll firm ADP points to some positive signs related to job growth. The report showed a gain of 534,000 jobs in the private sector from October to November, signaling an upward trend in employment levels and job pace from earlier this year. The biggest gain came from the hospitality and leisure industry, adding 136,000 jobs last month, followed by the professional and business services, with a growth of 110,000 jobs. Even though the U.S. falls 5 million jobs short of pre-pandemic levels, the gains in industries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic show we are heading the right way.
To access the full ADP report, click here.
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