Friday Five | February 12, 2021

Did you know: Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County, Maryland, where she lived for the first 27 years of her life. After she escaped slavery, she returned to the area and risked her life to lead dozens of friends and family out of slavery on the Underground Railroad.


Each Friday, the Maryland Chamber will bring you the top five news stories from the intersection of business and government. Here are this week’s top five stories.


 1. Maryland House Overrides Hogan’s Veto of Digital Ad Tax

The Maryland House of Delegates voted 88-32 on Thursday to override Governor Hogan’s veto on a bill creating a new tax on digital advertising services. To be enacted, the bill will next require an override by the Senate. If passed, small businesses fighting to survive during COVID-19 will incur higher taxes and fees, resulting in higher prices for consumers.

To read more, please click here.


 2. $15 Minimum Wage Would Cut Employment, Reduce Poverty, CBO Study Finds

President Biden is pursuing legislation to more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a study on Monday, showing that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour could deliver raises to 27 million workers and lift 900,000 Americans above the poverty level but would cost 1.4 million Americans their jobs over the next four years. The analysis showed a minimum wage increase would cause prices to rise, the federal budget deficit to widen and for overall economic output to slightly decrease over the next decade.

To read more, please click here.


 3. Federal Mobile Workforce Bill Gains Traction in 2021

On February 3, a bipartisan group of Senators renewed their effort to pass a bill that focuses on coordinating federal efforts on telecom workforce development, including apprenticeships and the needs of rural areas. The bill was passed by a unanimous positive voice vote on February 4, making it the first time the Senate has considered this issue.

On August 27, 2020, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce signed on to a letter with the Council On State Taxation (COST) and the American Institute of CPA’s that urged Congressional leadership to enact the Remote and Mobile Worker Relief Act.

To join COST’s efforts toward the Mobile Workforce Act enactment, please contact Doug Lindholm at dlindholm@cost.org or Aziza Farooki at afarooki@cost.org.


 4. Unemployment Insurance Fraud – Q4 Benefit Charge Statements

The Maryland Department of Labor has seen an increase in the number of fraudulent unemployment claims filed in the names of people who are actively working. This means that claims may be fraudulently filed for your employee, even though the employee is still working for you.

The Division of Unemployment Insurance continues to work with banking institutions to combat fraud and recently issued the benefit charge statement for Q4 of 2020 for both contributory and reimbursing not-for-profit employers and government entities. Please review your statement to ensure that all claimant benefits charged to your account are accurate.

If you believe a fraudulent claim has been charged to your account, please file a benefit charge protest through your employer portal here.


5. Ransomware Guidance and Resources

In January, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced the Reduce the Risk of Ransomware Campaign, a focused effort to encourage public and private sector organizations to implement best practices and provide tools and resources that can help them mitigate ransomware threat. Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid.

In response to continuing ransomware attacks around the world, CISA and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), released in September 2020, the joint Ransomware Guide, a one-stop resource with best practices and ways to prevent, protect and/or respond to a ransomware attack.

To learn more about reducing the risk of ransomware, please click here.


Check out our Maryland Chamber Events Page for all of our Upcoming Webinars, Briefings, and Sponsored Events!


Upcoming Calendar of Legislative Briefings and Hearings

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Thursday, February 18, 2021


Wearing a mask in public lets us live life more safely. And it keeps you and everyone around you better protected from coronavirus. The more we mask together, the faster we get back to enjoying life…together. So, just carry on, masks on, Maryland.

 

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