A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.
1. Maryland Democrats push forward paid family leave bill
Yesterday, Maryland Democrats expressed their resolve to pass a paid family and medical leave insurance program, a measure that would provide 12 weeks of paid leave for Maryland workers for personal or family circumstances, such as caring for a sick relative or having a baby. The proposal has hit road blocks in previous years, but yesterday during a press conference Senate President Bill Ferguson pledged to pass it this year. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce believes this bill is correct in theory but wrong in practice and would place too much of a burden on businesses still struggling to recover from the pandemic who cannot afford an added cost of doing business at this time.
“This legislation is not the way to go,” said Maryland Chamber President & CEO Mary D. Kane. “This is too onerous on our employers here in the state.”
Read the full story here.
Tell your legislators that this bill is not right for Maryland! Join our advocacy campaign here.
2. Job creators object to Maryland climate change legislation’s costs
The Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 (SB 528) faces its first major challenge from commercial real estate representatives who argue the bill’s new standards would be too costly for developers and is unrealistic to accomplish in the timeline lawmakers have set. The bill would prohibit newly-constructed buildings in 2024 from using fossil fuels for heating and hot water and existing buildings over 25,000 square feet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040. During the bill’s hearing last week, Senator Benjamin F. Kramer, who also owns commercial real estate buildings, said many large buildings are specifically designed to use oil and natural gas, and implementing this law would cause major cost and logistical challenges. The debate is expected to continue at a hearing today before the House Environment and Transportation Committee. But so far conversations with lawmakers haven’t reached any solutions, and industry representatives continue to air their issues with the bill. Read the full story here.
Act now and urge your legislators to oppose Senate Bill 528, legislation that is bad for business and bad for consumers! It takes less than two minutes. Act Here.
The Daily Record: Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s President & CEO Mary D. Kane join a prestigious list of power players in the just released Daily Record’s Power 40 Government & Lobbying list. Read more here.
3. Gasoline prices are one way Americans could feel the impact of war in Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused uncertainty in the U.S. economy, leading to higher gasoline prices hindering our COVID-19 recovery. Yesterday, oil prices increased by nearly 8% to over $100 a barrel before retreating to previous levels. Any war-related price spikes would come on top of already burdensome inflation that is running at the highest rate in 40 years, affecting both consumers and businesses in a wide array of industries including airlines, trucking and transportation.
Read the full story here.
4. State judge lets court challenge to Maryland’s congressional maps move forward
5. Hogan announces $50M rural economic development fund
Upcoming Legislative Briefings and Hearings
Tuesday, March 01, 2022
Wednesday, March 02, 2022
Thursday, March 03, 2022
Friday, March 04, 2022
You’re Invited: Inspire MD on May 12
STATE of the STATE presented by Bank of America