It’s now or never for delaying HB 1

Right now it looks like the only chance to delay mandatory paid leave compliance has to happen by Saturday.

As you know from the email you got from us Monday, SB 304 would delay 2017’s HB 1 effective date until July 1, 2018. The Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously to do so, but now it has to make it through the full Senate, and the full process in the House, and then be signed by Gov. Larry Hogan by Saturday. Failing that, the whole bill takes effect Feb. 11, subjecting your organization to compliance regulations even the Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation doesn’t understand yet. If you have not already contacted your legislators urging them to support SB 304, do it now.

As of this morning, the Senate has held over the bill until tomorrow.

 

Busiest month of the session ahead 

With more than 1,600 bills introduced so far, the team will be at the tables and in the halls for several items of interest in February.

Here’s a look at how we worked on your behalf last week:

Health care:

SB 137 would amend the 2016 Contraceptive Equity Act to exclude male sterilization as a preventive care service. This change is necessary because the 2016 state law conflicts with the federal definition of this procedure as a preventive care service. That conflict means that, without this amendment, people with health savings accounts (HSAs) attached to high-deductible health plans would be subject to tax penalties on their HSAs. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce supports this bill because it helps preserve the tax-favored status of high-deductible health plans, which small businesses across the state rely on.

Taxation:

SB 227 would require retail and food services to use the combined tax reporting method, a highly complex system of apportioning taxable income which creates winners and losers in the tax system. We opposed it.

SB 228 would extend the cybersecurity investment incentive tax credit and make it more attractive to potential investors. We’re in favor.

Damages:

HB 289  tries to raise the cap on noneconomic damages in certain wrongful death or survival actions an individual can receive, which will result in higher insurance premiums for businesses and individuals across the board. We opposed it.

Small/minority-owned business:

HB 224 would make it easier for small and minority-owned businesses to qualify for procurement opportunities. We’re in favor of that, too, and hope to see it expand.

Infrastructure:

HB 243 extends the mandate for the task force looking at the feasibility of increasing access to telecommunications services in Western Maryland, Southern Maryland & the Eastern Shore. We support it.

 

Share your expertise

Don’t forget about our first Human Resources Advisory Group meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 10 – 11 a.m. at the Maryland Chamber offices. Topics for discussion include overtime pay & jurisdiction; sexual harassment policies and legislation; labor relations regulations; and risk management. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Kevin Rudolph. Next up: the Rural Advisory Group on Wed., Feb. 14 and the Telecommunication Advisory Group on Wed., Feb. 21 – same time and place, open to anyone who wants to share insights, perspectives and ideas.

We’re a full month into the 2018 legislative session now. Thanks for coming along for the ride. As always, talk with us about impacts and concerns.

 

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