Happy Independence Day! Several laws took effect while we kicked off our long weekend, including income tax credits for businesses. Some of the laws are from the 2017 legislative session, and others are elements of bills from previous sessions. Here are a few.
Bills we supported:
More Jobs for Marylanders Act
-Creates jobs through financial incentives for employers
Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Act
-Establishes a commission to evaluate effects on Maryland if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Since employers provide health care coverage, the Chamber successfully advocated for a seat on the commission for a businessperson.
-Expands the number of school-to-work training and certification programs in economically depressed parts of the state
Adult High School Pilot Program
-Gives those who didn’t finish high school an opportunity to get a diploma rather than a GED
Biotechnology Investment Tax Credit
-Provides income tax credits to qualified businesses in the biotech industry, encouraging investment in the state
Income Tax Credit – Qualified Research and Development Expenses
-Provides income tax credit to companies that meet specifications, increasing investment and competitiveness
Job Creation Tax Credit – Alteration
-A technical fix to an existing law. This version is more efficient in incentivizing job creation and economic development.
Bills we opposed:
Maryland Transportation Authority Farebox Recovery Rate Repeal
Other bills you might be interested in:
Maryland is the first state in the country to offset potential federal cuts to Planned Parenthood. The law uses $2 million from the state’s Medicaid budget and $700,000 from its general fund to help pay for the organization’s services, but only if Congress cuts off funding.
The Start Talking Maryland Act took effect, requiring state schools to have specific education programs on opioid addiction. The act requires schools to include information on the dangers of heroin and other opioid abuse as early as third grade and into college. It also requires schools to have a supply of naloxone, an antidote to opioid overdoses. Staff must be trained in how to use it.
Another step in the 2014 state minimum wage bill was implemented, raising the minimum from $8.75 to $9.25. This is separate from the $15 minimum wage bill that we opposed in the 2017 session.
In an effort to protect pollinator bees, pesticides known to harm them are now prohibited on state land designated as pollinator habitats. This allows for exceptions in public health emergencies. It also gives state agencies freedom to designate which lands are protected. Maryland is the first state in the country to restrict consumer use of these pesticides.
And go ahead, pop open a cold one for the holiday. Craft breweries will now be allowed to sell up to 2,000 barrels of beer per year. That’s a 400 percent increase. The new law allows Guinness to open its only American brewery, for Guinness Blonde American Lager in Relay, Maryland.
Want to see what happened with all our efforts, in one place? Our 2017 General Assembly Legislative Report is now available to our members. Just log in at mdchamber.org and click on the link. It’s just beneath the photo.
Celebrate the 4th safely!