Friday Five | October 2, 2020

Each Friday, the Maryland Chamber will bring you the top five news stories from the intersection of business and government. Here are this week’s top five stories.

 1.Franchot: Second Stimulus Package is Vital for Maryland’s Economy

Despite better than expected revenue projections for Maryland’s budget, Comptroller Peter Franchot said he is still very concerned about the state’s economic future and that federal assistance is needed.

“Right now it doesn’t mean anything. As far as policy all it means is if there’s a second federal stimulus we could be in a better position than we thought we were going to be in. If there isn’t a second federal stimulus we’re in a deep hole,” Franchot told in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Full story here.

2. New Laws Take Effect Today:

-Philip Van Slooten of Capital News Service reports that an update to Maryland’s hate crimes law, named for slain Army 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III, is one of several anti-discrimination measures going into effect Oct. 1. Other notable bills address crime, the environment, and healthcare.

-Maryland is strengthening its hate crime law so prosecutors don’t have to prove that hate was the only motivating factor in committing a crime, as new laws take effect this week, the AP reports.

-A new law preventing discrimination based on hairstyles is set to take effect this week in Maryland along with dozens of others ranging from the expansion of the definition of a hate crime to a requirement for colleges and universities to develop outbreak response plans, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports.

-A flurry of new laws take effect in the region Oct. 1, with the vast majority in Maryland. They include the nation’s first statewide ban on foam food containers, and a trio of laws passed earlier this year to address violence against people of color, report Erin Cox and Fenit Nirappil for the Post.

3. Mayor Young Announces $2 Million Fund For Small Businesses

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young announced a $2 million grant fund for small businesses on Wednesday. The fund aims to help businesses reopen safely and recover from the pandemic, reports Sarah Kim for WYPR-FM.

For more on this story, click here.

4. Maryland business groups express access concerns for 2021 assembly session

A coalition of business groups is concerned about the potential for rule changes that could limit public participation in the 2021 General Assembly Session, writes Bryan Sears in the Daily Record. Legislative leaders have yet to say what a second pandemic session would look like, but a 10-page letter from an attorney for the General Assembly laid out the potential for one in which there could be limited bill hearings or limits on public testimony or the ability to observe legislative proceedings.

For the full story, click here.

5. Poll Shows Strong Support for Supermarket Beer and Wine Sales

The legislative fights over Maryland’s liquor laws can be arcane ― even when they become politically charged. But the idea of legalizing supermarket sales of beer and wine seems pretty straightforward ― something Marylanders can readily understand. And perhaps, unsurprisingly, they support the idea in strong numbers.

Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws (MBBWL), a group that has been working on reforming alcohol laws since 2005, released a poll that found Maryland residents favor legalizing chain store alcohol sales by a 2-1 margin. Survey respondents cited greater convenience followed by lower prices as their top reasons for supporting this change.

Find the full story here.

Check out our Maryland Chamber Events Page for all of our Upcoming Webinars, Briefings, and Sponsored Events!

Upcoming calendar of legislative briefings and hearings

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Elections are right around the corner, are you ready?

The U.S. Chamber released a new resource center for tracking state voting guidelines. See the latest resources on voting in your state at #VoteForJobs

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