Friday Five | January 20, 2023

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

1. Wes Moore sworn in, making history as Maryland’s first Black Governor

On Wednesday, a crowd of approximately 5,000 people gathered to watch as Wes Moore was sworn in to become Maryland’s first Black governor and only the third elected in U.S. history.

In his inaugural address, Moore promised to address long-standing inequities in the state while growing the economy, blunting climate change and shrinking violent crime. He called to end the disproportionate incarceration of Black people.

The new governor — Maryland’s 63rd and the only Black person leading a state today — shared what he hopes to accomplish while in office, calling out issues including the number of children living in poverty, the quarter million residents without health care, unemployment rates, racial wealth gaps, minimum wage, crime, education and more.

Read the full story here.

During the celebration, Moore gave an inaugural address speaking to the historic day and to his priorities while in office.

Read the full text of Governor Moore’s inaugural address here.

Wednesday’s inauguration was a celebratory day bringing together legislators and public figures. “You couldn’t ask for a better day,” said Maryland Chamber President & CEO Mary Kane.

Read the full story here.

2. Moore’s first day includes the creation of a new Cabinet position and release of $69 million in state funds; nine new Cabinet members announced

On his first full day in office, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore released $69 million in state funds to combat climate change, implement a program for paid family leave, lay the groundwork for a new legal marijuana industry and more.

Moore said the action symbolizes “a fundamental shift” in the way the executive branch will approach the budget and its relationship with the legislature.“We view the General Assembly as partners not adversaries,” Moore said.

Additionally, Moore signed executive orders, one updating ethics standards for the administration and the other creating a cabinet-level agency to oversee community service programs.

Read the full story here.

On Tuesday, Moore announced picks for nine cabinet positions, filling out key roles including the heads of the departments of Housing, Environment, Planning and Commerce.

Appointments included Kevin Anderson as secretary of Commerce, Serena McIlwain as secretary of Environment, Josh Kurtz as secretary of Natural Resources, Jake Day as secretary of Housing and Community Development, Rebecca Flora as secretary of Planning and Kevin Atticks as the secretary of Agriculture.

Read the full story here.

3. Brooke Lierman makes history as Maryland’s first woman comptroller

On Monday, Former Del. Brooke Lierman of Baltimore City made history as Maryland’s 34th comptroller and the first woman ever elected to the position.

During the swearing in ceremony, Lierman said she will focus on ensuring the comptroller’s functions are fair and equitable.

“We all do better when we ensure…Black women can get loans to start their businesses at the same rate as their white male counterparts,” she said. “When we build communities that are welcoming to our immigrant brothers and sisters, we all do better. Doing better is possible. When we have an ally and an advocate in our state government.”

Read the full story here.

4. Proposed rules and top issues that businesses should monitor in 2023

The federal government is flexing its administrative muscles in 2023, and its new rules could have significant effects on employers and small businesses.

While much recent attention has focused on Congress, the rules proposed and finalized by federal agencies are often where the rubber meets the road for small businesses — generating a mix of challenges, uncertainty and opportunities.

Proposed and new rules to be aware of cover items including the classification of independent contractors, expansion of the Small Business Administration lender network, noncompete agreements and more.

Read the full story here.

In an Op-Ed for The Daily Record, Maryland state director for the National Federation of Independent Business Mike O’Halloran shared some of the top issues that small businesses will watch closely in 2023.

Minimum wage and unemployment insurance are two of the top issues that O’Halloran anticipates monitoring closely during the current legislative session.

Read the full letter here.

5. Five ways a debt limit crisis could derail the US economy

The biggest threat the U.S. economy faces this year could be the fight over the federal debt limit.

Congress and the White House have roughly six months to avoid an unprecedented and potentially catastrophic default on the federal debt. But there is no clear path to keeping the U.S. solvent, with House Republicans fiercely opposed to any debt ceiling increase unaccompanied by serious spending cuts.

If lawmakers fail to strike a deal to avoid default, experts say the shock could plunge the world into recession and a financial crisis. Even a prolonged showdown over the debt ceiling could rattle markets and derail a global economy already weakened by inflation, rising interest rates and the lingering scars of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Issues to be aware of include rising recession risks, implications for global financial markets, the loss of federal benefits for programs millions of Americans depend on for food, medical care and basic necessities, and higher interest rates.

Read the full story here.

Sold Out ➡️ Jan. 26

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

To be added to the waitlist contact

Meet the State, presented by Amazon, is the premier, early-session gathering of legislative and state government leaders with the business community. We’re looking forward to a day full of critical conversations and opportunities to inform legislators how businesses are driving the economy, advancing economic success and creating Maryland jobs.


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