A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.
1. Child care emerges as a priority for business in 2022 Md. legislative session
The current child care shortage presents a new challenge to Maryland businesses that continue to recover from the COVID-19 economic shock and are struggling to hire workers. During the pandemic, 751 child care centers closed in Maryland due to the shortage of workers, which has caused a significant spike in child care costs, preventing many workers from entering or re-entering the workforce. In an interview by the Daily Record, our VP of government affairs, Andrew Griffin, identifies child care as one of the chamber’s top priorities for the upcoming legislative session and discusses possible legislation to address the current crisis. Read the full story here.
We want to hear from you! In hopes of better advocating for the changes needed to the current child care system, we encourage you to take our survey and share the challenges you’ve faced accessing quality, affordable child care. Take our survey here and help shape tomorrow’s child care policies!
2. Will OSHA’s legal battle over vaccine mandate tank the federal contractor rule?
On Monday, the Biden administration suspended its proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule, requiring companies with 100 or more employees to develop a vaccination policy and test unvaccinated employees weekly. The suspension came after the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled plaintiffs suing to stop the OSHA rule were likely to succeed on the merits of their case and identified constitutional concerns with the rule. However, the suspension does not cover a separate executive order requiring federal contractors to have their employees fully vaccinated by Jan. 18 or be subject to loosing eligibility for new or extended contracts. But several contracting attorneys see this as an opening to challenge the enforceability of the contractor executive order.
Read the full story here.
3. Dereck Davis gets key recommendation to be next Md. Treasurer
A joint House-Senate panel tasked with filling the vacancy for state treasurer voted unanimously on Monday to recommend Delegate Dereck Davis, Prince George’s Democrat and chair of the House of Delegates Economic Matters Committee, over three other candidates. Davis told the panel, if elected, he will work with other board members in a bipartisan fashion and will put the interest of Marylanders first. Also running for state treasurer is Jorge Cortez, a banker and financial analyst; former Baltimore City Del. John Douglass; and Joseph Zimmerman, secretary-treasurer of the Maryland-National Capitol Park and Planning Commission.
Read the full story here.
4. Maryland lawmakers settle on draft congressional map ahead of redistricting special session
The Maryland Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission has settled on a new proposed congressional map which will be the starting point when lawmakers meet next month in a special session to redraw congressional boundaries. The chosen draft map splits Baltimore between the 2nd and 7th districts and stretches the Eastern Shore-based 1st District across the Chesapeake Bay, adding more Democratic-leaning voters to the area. Democrats currently hold majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, and despite likely opposition from Governor Larry Hogan, they are expected to be in control of the redistricting process. The special session is scheduled to begin Dec. 6, where lawmakers could continue to revise the proposed map or even replace it altogether.
Read the full story here.
5. Get to know Mary Kane, Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s new CEO
On Oct. 11, we welcomed Mary Kane into our senior leadership role as president and CEO. Kane is a Wilmington, Delaware native with an impressive track record of building strong relationships and elevating and leading organizations. Most recently, she was director of the National Museum of American Diplomacy in the U.S. State Department and previously served as the executive director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 2008 to 2011.
In a recent interview by the Baltimore Business Journal, Kane was asked to share her vision for the chamber and her top priorities for the Maryland business community. Click here to find out what she had to say.
The data is clear, healthy employees are good for business.
Learn how to design and implement a workplace wellness plan on a small business budget that will help your bottom line. Join us Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for the first installment in our webinar series, Healthy Employees, Healthy Business, presented by UnitedHealthcare.
Calling all volunteers! The Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster needs your help to provide much needed assistance to residential homes in Dorchester and Somerset Counties impacted by the Chesapeake Bay Tidal flooding event. Make a difference and call (340) 643-7516 to get started.