A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.
The passage of the American Rescue Plan brings billions of dollars in federal aid for Maryland which has in turn slowed the state budget approval process as lawmakers work to understand its implications. Comptroller Franchot announced yesterday he is extending the state income tax filing deadline by three months until July 15, 2021.
1.SB 414 – Climate Solutions Now Act of 2021
Senate Bill 414, requiring the state to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 60% from 2006 levels by 2030, has passed out of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee and is currently being debated on the Senate floor. We, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, continue to voice our concern regarding this bill as it removes the requirement that any greenhouse gas reduction plan results in a net economic benefit to the State’s economy and a net increase in jobs.
If enacted, some of the new costly programs include:
Visit the MGA Website for additional information.
2. Maryland RELIEF Act Support for Businesses
With the passage of the RELIEF act of 2021 by the Maryland General Assembly, new COVID-19 relief will soon be made available for certain Maryland businesses through the Maryland Department of Commerce. They anticipate accepting initial applications for the new funding in mid-March and will update their website as details about these Commerce programs become available.
The funding will be targeted toward certain groups of businesses including:
Visit the business resources website for additional funding available and the latest information.
3. Today at 5 p.m. – Maryland to Lift Some COVID-19 Restrictions
With the pace of vaccinations rapidly rising and Maryland’s case rate dropping more than 76%, Governor Hogan announced on Tuesday that he’s easing many coronavirus restrictions in the state beginning at 5 p.m. today. Hogan’s executive order lifts capacity limits at restaurants and opens up large indoor and outdoor venues to 50% capacity while keeping in effect the state’s mask mandate.
4. What’s in the Federal Stimulus Package for Marylanders?
On Wednesday, the House approved the final version of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill including $1,400 stimulus checks, massive expansions to the federal tax credits and nearly $6.4 billion in direct funding for Maryland’s state and local governments.
More than 2.5 million Maryland households would get direct stimulus payments of up to $1,400, totaling $6.25 billion flowing into Marylanders’ wallets. The stimulus bill also expands the child tax credit benefiting 1.1 million children and lifting more than 52,000 children out of poverty, according to Senators Van Hollen and Cardin.
Under the new bill, Maryland will also receive a total of $6.35 billion in aid for state and local governments, with $3.87 billion of that funding directed towards emergency services, vaccine distribution and other needs.
To read more, please click here.
5. State Legislators Want Role in Maryland’s Stimulus Spending
As the U.S House passed the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus plan on Wednesday, the Maryland House temporarily slowed work on the state budget, giving appropriators time to understand the flood of federal money headed to the state. The House Appropriations Committee, which is leading the charge on the passage of Maryland’s 2022 budget, delayed a meeting on final budget decisions to allow top legislators to work with Governor Hogan on guiding the federal stimulus spending.
To read more, please click here.
Upcoming Webinar: Monday, March 15 at 11:00 a.m.
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin’s update on the small business provisions included in the American Rescue Plan. Join the conversation and learn about the $50 billion in available aid.
Upcoming Calendar of Legislative Briefings and Hearings
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
2021 Advocacy Playbook
We created the Maryland Advocacy Playbook to teach our members about advocacy and how you can make a difference in Annapolis. This guide provides you with the necessary tools and resources to ensure that your voice is heard.