2015 Legislative Session

Greater Baltimore Committee 2015 Legislative Priorities

Cover of GBC 2015 Legislative Agenda

During the 2015 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the Greater Baltimore Committee will support policies that seek to increase our state’s competitiveness for economic growth and job creation by:

Advancing a diverse, 21st century economy

As Maryland’s economy recovers, lawmakers must focus on attracting business and making it easier for existing businesses to grow and succeed.

Promoting entrepreneurship and fostering innovation

Maryland is well-positioned to be a national leader of innovation in emerging sectors and state policies need to reflect support of these and other innovation-based industries.

Strengthening and expanding our highly-skilled workforce

We need to remain focused on ensuring that our K–12 educational system is producing graduates who are college or career ready, and increase opportunities for middle-skill workers.

Ensuring strategic investments in Maryland’s infrastructure

Maryland’s physical infrastructure is critical to our state’s economic vitality. Proper maintenance of our existing infrastructure, as well as strategic investments in new infrastructure, is needed for a competitive business environment and is a matter of public safety.

Cultivating STEM education and career opportunities

Today’s students need to be ready for the high-tech jobs of tomorrow, many of which are focused in the STEM disciplines.

Building a competitive and fair tax system

Maryland’s tax structure was the most cited business climate deficiency when the GBC brought together CEOs from top companies at the Chesapeake Conference of CEOs. Maryland’s tax structure and spending process should be strategically reformed to achieve competitiveness.

Increasing transparency and accountability

Transparency at all levels of government increases the public’s trust. Policies should be developed and implemented to ensure increased transparency and accountability in state government.

Bill Number Lead Sponsor Bill Title Description Committee Hearing Date GBC Position (Click for Testimony)
HB 57 Delegate Reznik University System of Maryland – Pay It Forward Pilot Program and Tution Freeze – Studies

Requiring the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland to study the creation of a potential Pay It Forward Pilot Program; requiring the study to consider specified items; requiring the Board of Regents to study whether public institutions of higher education could successfully implement specified tuition freeze programs, etc.

SB 37 Senator Madeleno Tobacco Taxes – Healthy Maryland Initiative

Altering rates on cigarettes and other tobacco taxes, requiring specific level of funding for the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Progrom, etc.

Budget and Taxation, Finance
SB 36 Senator Brochin Stormwater Management – Watershed Protection and Restoration Progrom – Repeal

Repealing the Rain Tax

Education, Health, and Environmental Matters
SB 29 Senator Brochin Environment – Hydraulic Fracturing – Prohibitions

Prohibiting a person from storing, treating, discharging, or disposing of, in the State, specified wastewater resulting from hydraulic fracturing which includes fracking, hydrofracking, and hydrofracturing; and prohibiting a person from engaging in the hydraulic fracturing of a well for the exploration or production of natural gas in the State.

Education, Health, and Environmental Matters
SB 28 Senator Simonaire Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund – Use of funds

Only allowing the trust fund to be used for nonpoint source pollution control projects, prohibiting transfers to the general fund, etc.

Education, Health, and Environmental Matters
Labor and Employment – Maryland Health Working Families Act

Requiring specified employers to provide employees with specified earned sick and safe leave; providing for the manner in which earned sick and safe leave is accrued by the employee and treated by the employer; requiring an employer to allow an employee to use earned sick and safe leave for specified purposes; requiring an employee, under specified circumstances, to request leave, notify the employer of specified information, and comply with specified procedures; etc.

HB42 Delegates Rosenberg, Carter, Oaks, Pena-Melnyk and Tarlau Fair Employment Preservation Act of 2015

Providing that an employer is liable under specified circumstances in an action concerning a violation of specified provisions of employment discrimination and retaliation law based on quid pro quo harassment or the creation or continuation of harassment in a hostile work environment; and applying the Act prospectively.

Health and Government Operations
SB19 Senator Conway University System of Maryland – Chancellor – Appointment

Subjecting the appointment of the USM Chancellor to the advice and consent of the General Assembly (Emergency Bill)

Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs 1/22/2015
SB 10 Senator Brochin Motor Fuel Tax Rates – CPI Adjustment – Repeal

Repealing a requirement that specified motor fuel tax rates be adjusted in future years based on growth in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.

Budget and Taxation 2/4/2015
SB 2 Delegate McFadden Higher Education Investment Tax Credit Program

Establishing the Higher Education Investment Tax Credit Program to authorize tax credits against the State income tax, public service company franchise tax, and insurance premium tax equal to 50% of the donation made to specified eligible higher education institutions; requiring the donations to be used for specified purposes in priority funding areas; authorizing, each year, the Maryland Higher Education Commission to allocate up to $20,000,000 in tax credits to eligible higher education institutions; etc.

Budget and Taxation 2/4/2015
HB 36 Delegate Schulz Procurement – Veteran Owned Small Business Enterprises – Participation Goal

Increasing the participation goal from 0.5% to 5% for specified veteran-owned business enterprises for specified procurement contracts.

Health and Government Operations 2/4/2015
HB 34 Delegate Schulz Education – Implementation of the Common Core State Standards – Prohibition

Prohibiting the Common Core State Standards at the State and Local level. Recinds the State Board’s adoption of the Common Core.

Ways and Means
HB 4 Delegate Glenn Maryland Wage and Hour Law – State Minimum Wage Rate – Increase

Repealing the indexing provision of the new Minimum Wage law. Brings minimum wage up to $10.10/hr effective immediately.

Economic Matters