Friday Five | March 26, 2021

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


With Crossover Day in our review mirror, we have a clearer picture of how this session will shake out. We have been working in overdrive to make sure your interests are heard, and we thank you for your continued support as we have called you to action on key issues.


1. 2021 Key Bills Impacting Businesses 

Below is an overview of key bills impacting businesses that have made it past crossover day, the deadline for bills to cross over from one chamber of the General Assembly to the other, and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce (MDCC)’s stance on each.

MDCC Supported Bills:

MDCC Opposed Bills:

For more information, please visit the MGA Website.


2. HB 581 – Maryland Essential Protection Act (Employment Standards During an Emergency)

Legislators continue to discuss House Bill 581, a bill that as originally drafted would create a number of new employer mandates including hazard pay, health leave, and other provisions related to workplace safety during a public health emergency. Over the course of the last few weeks several key provisions appear to have been dropped from the bill. That said, negotiations continue and the Economic Matters Committee Subcommittee on Business Regulation is still meeting to hash out the details.

We, the MDCC, continue to engage on this issue through our internal working group and outreach to members of the General Assembly to ensure that the interests of Maryland’s job creators are adequately considered.

The Economic Matters Business Regulation Subcommittee is expected to meet again later today. For more information, please visit the MGA Website.


3. Maryland Senate Votes for $50B Plan to Balance State Budget

On Thursday, The Maryland Senate unanimously approved a $50B plan to balance the state budget during the next fiscal year to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure authorizes $687 million in state spending and provides about $585 million in targeted tax relief to support recovery.

“Most importantly, it significantly places the state in an advantageous position to continue supporting individuals, particularly low-income earners, and businesses that continue to be impacted as we transition out of this pandemic,” said Del. Maggie McIntosh, a Baltimore Democrat who chairs the House budget committee, when the House took up the legislation.

To read more, please click here.


4. Tax Reform Package Killed 

As crossover day passed on Monday, a package of bills creating a more equitable tax structure in Maryland died. The bills would have restructured Maryland’s tax brackets so high-income earners would pay more and low-income earners would pay less. Sen. Guy Guzzone and Sen. Jim Rosapepe, chair and vice chair of their chamber’s Budget and Taxation Committee, said their focus has been on properly spending the federal stimulus money and improving the economy, as opposed to major changes in the tax system.

To read more, please click here


5. New Small Business Loans of up to $500,00

The Small Business Administration announced this Wednesday that starting the week of April 6, companies harmed by the coronavirus pandemic can borrow up to $500,000 through their Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The agency has $270 billion left to lend through the pandemic relief program and raising the cap will now allow small businesses that had previously received a loan to apply for an increase.

To read more, please click here.


Visit our Maryland Chamber Events Page for a list of upcoming webinars, briefings and events!

 

 


Upcoming Calendar of Legislative Briefings and Hearings

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Thursday, April 01, 2021


 

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