Friday Five | January 28, 2022

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

1. Maryland lawmakers approve new state legislative maps as critics prepare to sue 

Yesterday, Maryland lawmakers approved new state legislative district lines that solidify Democrats’ control of the state General Assembly for the next decade. Despite opposition from Republicans, who describe the lines drawn as radically, demographically and politically unfair, yesterday’s action by the House is the final approval needed for the legislative maps to go into effect. Opponents plan to challenge both the newly passed maps and the congressional maps that were approved by the General Assembly during a special session last month.

Read the full story here.

2. Biden administration officially withdraws vaccine rule 

On Tuesday, OSHA confirmed the Biden administration officially withdrew the rule that would have required workers at big companies to get vaccinated or face regular COVID testing requirements. Since OSHA’s initial announcement last November, U.S. corporations have been split on employee vaccination mandates. Some like United Airlines and Tyson Foods have fully embraced it and reported over 96% of their staff have been fully vaccinated. While others, including Starbucks and General Electric, immediately abandoned their previously announced mandate programs after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Jan. 13 halting the vaccine rule. OSHA indicated they could consider a new rule if it included other measures designed to prevent COVID-19, such as requiring face masks, distancing and better ventilation systems.

Read the full story here.

3. Maryland gained 4,700 jobs in December; unemployment rate drops to pandemic low

Maryland gained 4,700 jobs in December and the unemployment rate dropped to an all-time low of 5% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released on Tuesday by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report also showed the state has regained 324,000 jobs and has gained a total of 99,700 new jobs since the beginning of last year. The professional and business services sector experienced the most growth with an addition of 6,000 jobs coming from areas such as administrative, support, waste management and scientific and technical services.

Read the full story here.

4. Lawmaker hints at potential changes to unemployment taxes for businesses 

In a forum on Monday, members of the Maryland General shed light on issues impacting the business community and lawmakers’ top priorities for this 90-day session, including a potential tax increase for unemployment insurance. During the virtual event, Delegate D.T. Wilson, the new chairman of the Economic Matters Committee in the House of Delegates, hinted at a potential tax increase on businesses necessary to ensure the state’s solvency for future situations when unemployment rises. He proposes to raise taxes when the unemployment rate is low and decrease when high so that businesses can catch a break when the economy isn’t doing too well.

Read the full story here.

5. Baltimore business groups to merge

On Wednesday, the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore announced they are merging in a move aimed at better positioning the city to compete nationally in the post-pandemic world. Top priorities for the new alliance include increasing economic opportunities and enhancing civic engagement to create a thriving environment for Baltimore’s diverse communities. The boards of both groups believe this will level the field for Baltimore and the region when competing with other U.S. cities for business investment and economic development opportunities.

Read the full story here.

Upcoming Legislative Briefings and Hearings 

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Don’t miss STATE of the STATE presented by Bank of America

Thursday, February 24, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

At this virtual event, Governor Larry Hogan will deliver a keynote address followed by a panel discussion addressing the state of Maryland’s economy & recovery. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain exclusive insight on Maryland’s economic future!

Register Now






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