A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.
1. Md. Gov. Larry Hogan unveils largest tax cut proposal as he contemplates future
On Tuesday, a day before the opening of the 2022 legislative session, Governor Larry Hogan unveiled the largest tax relief package in Maryland’s history. Hogan’s 5-tax cut package would:
To fund this, Hogan is proposing spending a chunk of Maryland’s budget surplus and hopes the Democrat-controlled Maryland General Assembly will follow suit. But with other pressing issues dominating the 90-day session agenda, it is unclear whether Hogan’s proposal will make the cut.
2. Follow the money – Maryland General Assembly convenes with billions of dollars at stake
This Wednesday marked the opening of the 444th Maryland legislative session, where lawmakers will consider dozens of bills and determine how to spend billions of dollars in an election year. Maryland ended its fiscal 2021 year with a $2.5 billion surplus and is expected to receive an additional $6.4 billion under the newly passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, leaving the state in a much better financial situation than many had anticipated. But budget aside, other critical issues on the agenda include the implementation of family and medical leave, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and increasing child care availability. Stakes are high for the Maryland business community this session, and the outcome could be detrimental to our state’s economic recovery. Read the full story here.
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3. U.S. Chamber CEO statement on historic inflation report
According to data released by the Labor Department on Wednesday, inflation hit an all-time high in December 2021 at the fastest pace we have seen since 1982, increasing the consumer price index to 7%. In response to this, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark released the following statement:
“Today’s numbers are a reminder that we need policymakers focused on combatting inflation. That means avoiding policies, like the current so-called Build Back Better Bill that will fuel greater near-term price increases. Instead, policymakers should pursue policies that will reduce inflationary pressures, including addressing the worker shortage crisis, expanding trade, and reducing tariffs.”
4. Increasing child care availability key to economic success
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce, in coordination with its membership, identified that one of our top priorities in this legislative session would be supporting policies aimed at increasing child care availability for Marylanders. Since the pandemic hit in March 2020, Maryland has lost 751 child care providers due to the ongoing shortage of workers and continued rise in costs. In an article featured by The Daily Record, our President & CEO Mary D. Kane talks about how together we can create solutions to address the current child care crisis that will ensure an even stronger future for Maryland families.
5. Will 2022 bring another round of small-business relief funding? Congress is working on a deal
Small businesses that continue to suffer from the negative impact brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic are calling on Congress for another round of relief to increase their chances of survival. Rep. Dean Phillips (R-Minn) stated Congress is currently working on a relief package but anticipates it will fall short of the needed $100 billion or so to help businesses that now face another potential blow from the new Omicron variant. A recent Washington Post article identified a roughly $68 billion proposal rising in the Senate, which includes a mix of new spending and the reallocation of unused cash under previous packages. But many foresee an uphill battle determining a final amount in the divided chamber, leaving many small businesses vulnerable until a deal is reached.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Wednesday, January 19th, 2022
Thursday, January 20, 2022
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