Friday Five | January 13, 2023

A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.

1. Maryland lawmakers kicked off the 445th session of the Maryland General Assembly with an ambitious list of legislative priorities

Maryland’s elected officials, along with their family and friends, swarmed the halls of the historic State House in Annapolis on Wednesday to kick off the 445th session of the Maryland General Assembly.

In recent weeks, legislators including House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson have announced an ambitious list of legislative priorities, including transportation and housing reform, improving gun control and regulating the recreational cannabis industry that’s set to begin July 1 in the state.

The legislators also are looking ahead to next week, following Moore’s inauguration Jan. 18, when he’ll release details of his legislative and budget priorities.

Read the full story here.

In coverage from the Washington Post, Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) said “In this moment, we’re setting down a path that impacts not just this year, but a decade.”

Ahead of the General Assembly swearing in ceremony, Gov.-elect Wes Moore (D) joined Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) in an annual public interview where they spoke about the state’s next chapter, including their plans for the budget surplus, efforts to address child poverty and plans to create a framework for legalized cannabis. Each said a top priority this year will be to shore up the state’s workforce.

Read the full story here.

OpEd: With a new dawn comes opportunity — if we work together

In a new Daily Record OpEd, our President & CEO Mary Kane looks forward to the opportunities ahead for the 2023 legislative session and urges that we work together to develop solutions that create a stronger future for every Maryland employer and family.

The letter outlines some of the priorities of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Maryland business community, including making Maryland more competitive, attracting top talent, strengthening and building our workforce and working together to develop solutions for issues like minimum wage and energy policy.

Read the full letter here.

2. Governor-Elect Wes Moore’s shares plans for the 2023 Session

Days away from the historic inauguration of Maryland’s first Black governor and first woman of color lieutenant governor, many are eager to learn about the new administration’s priorities.

In an interview with The Daily Record, Moore said “We’re going to focus on economic growth. That means creating pathways to work, wages and wealth for Marylanders. That includes things like ensuring that we have a 21st century education system that is going to be teaching our students not just how to be employees but to be employers. It means we have to find mechanisms to increase wages for workers. We still have too many people in this state that are working jobs or in some cases multiple jobs and are still living at or below the poverty line. And we have to address the ability for people to create wealth in our state.”

Included in that is an acceleration of the move to a $15 minimum wage.

Moore said he will also work to “address things like unfair appraisal values and historic redlined neighborhoods, to have greater support for entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

Read the full story here.

During the Daily Record’s Eye on Annapolis Summit, Moore shared that another top priority of his administration will be to end child poverty.

Moore also shared that he will work toward ensuring housing availability for low-income individuals and improving public transportation.

“You cannot have economic mobility if you do not have physical mobility enabling people to get to work,” he said. “If we have a permanent underclass, the state cannot grow.”

Read the full story here.

3. Consultants tell work group cannabis sales in Maryland could reach $1B after it’s legal

As the General Assembly prepares to hash out final details for legalized recreational use of cannabis in Maryland, lawmakers are learning more about the potential scale of the industry.

Cannabis Public Policy Consulting, a firm based in Massachusetts that tracks and analyzes cannabis data, estimates that cannabis sales from licensed dispensaries in the state could reach $1 billion within about two years.

The estimate of $1 billion in sales by the 20th month after legalization comes from a November survey about cannabis consumption in the state. Although about 4,600 Marylanders were screened for the survey, slightly more than 2,100 people, from 413 of the state’s 468 zip codes, completed it

Read the full story here.

4. Biopharma to expand Frederick County footprint with new warehouse, 100 jobs

Biopharmaceutical company Kite Pharma will expand its footprint in Frederick County with a new warehouse that will bring 100 new jobs to the area, the company announced Tuesday.

The approximately 70,000-square-foot raw materials warehouse will be located adjacent to Kite’s existing facility in the Urbana Corporate Center, near the interchange of I-270 and Maryland Route 80.

When the expansion is complete, the company expects to employ more than 500 full-time staff across both sites by the end of 2026. Construction is expected to begin this year.

Read the full story here.

5. US inflation eases grip on economy, falling for a 6th month

Rising U.S. consumer prices moderated again last month, bolstering hopes that inflation’s grip on the economy will continue to ease this year and possibly require less drastic action by the Federal Reserve to control it.

Inflation declined to 6.5% in December compared with a year earlier, the government said Thursday. It was the sixth straight year-over-year slowdown, down from 7.1% in November. On a monthly basis, prices actually slipped 0.1% from November to December, the first such drop since May 2020.

The softer readings add to growing signs that the worst inflation bout in four decades is steadily waning. Gas prices, which have tumbled, are likely to keep lowering overall inflation in the coming months. Supply chain snarls have largely unraveled. That’s helping reduce the cost of goods ranging from cars and shoes to furniture and sporting goods.

Read the full story here.

Secure your seat ➡️ Jan. 26

Meet the State
9:30 AM – 6:30 PM
Annapolis, MD

Limited tickets remain!

Meet the State, presented by Amazon, is the premier, early-session gathering of legislative and state government leaders with the business community.

Register now to be part of these critical conversations and for your opportunity to inform legislators how businesses are driving the economy, advancing economic success and creating Maryland jobs.


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