Status report as lawmakers enter last week of highly-charged session

Entering the final week of the 2006 legislative session, we can report a number of successes on the GBC legislative agenda that have resulted. Unfortunately, as we anticipated, a number of our new proposals, although positively received, have not moved through the legislative cycle. The following is an overview of the status of GBC legislative priorities: Eminent Domain: The GBC strongly opposes any legislation that would inhibit the use of … Continue reading

MS Dinner of Champions to honor Don Fry, work of the GBC

The Maryland Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society will honor Greater Baltimore Committee president Donald C. Fry and the work of the GBC at the 19th annual Dinner of Champions gala on September 8. The event will be held at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Fry was selected because of his leadership as GBC president in strengthening the economic vitality and quality of life in the Baltimore region. “Don … Continue reading

Academics, not finances, rank as top challenge for incoming college students

Only one-third of today’s public high school graduates are ready to perform college work, according to Dr. Mary Pat Seurkamp, president of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. A general lack of readiness among incoming freshmen from public school systems is one of the top challenges colleges are facing, Seurkamp told members of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s President’s Advisory Council. “The more serious barrier is academic, not financial,” she … Continue reading

GBC urges caution as lawmakers consider intervening in Constellation merger

Dear Members of the Maryland General Assembly: Respectfully submitted below is a position statement regarding the proposed enactment of legislation granting the General Assembly authority to review and approve or disapprove the merger between Constellation Energy and FPL Group, Inc. The Greater Baltimore Committee believes that it is reasonable and appropriate for BGE and legislators to be engaged in deliberations concerning the projected electricity rate hikes that could occur as … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Affordable Housing

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR The cost of housing has more than doubled in Maryland during the last five years. This dramatic increase has been caused partly by good fortune – economic growth, more jobs, good wages, and lower interest rates, which translate into greater demand. Also, local economic experts note that “smart growth” master plans and zoning laws designed to discourage growth in suburban and rural areas have, in … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Community college funding

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR Maryland’s community college system is an important part of our state’s higher education system and a critical resource for business growth. Maryland’s 16 community colleges teach 62 percent of the state’s high school graduates who attend college in Maryland. During the next decade, Maryland’s focus on preparing more public school students for college-level work is projected to increase demand for student enrollment at community colleges … Continue reading

New study: commercial historic rehab tax credits generated $1.9 billion economic impact

Commercial projects that have received $217 million in historic rehabilitation state tax credits since 1997 generated $1.9 billion in economic activity and created more than 20,000 jobs, according to a report released this month by the University of Maryland and the State Department of Housing and Community Development. Commercial projects using the tax credit also generated $28 million in state income tax revenue, $9.7 million in state retail tax, $18.1 … Continue reading

GBC urges passage of tax credit for businesses locating in university research parks

The Greater Baltimore Committee is urging state lawmakers to pass a newly proposed tax credit for businesses that locate at research parks affiliated with one of Maryland’s higher education institutions. Legislation that would create the tax credit, SB 739, was heard today by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. Sponsored by Senator Nathaniel J. McFadden, D-Baltimore City, the bill would award a state income tax credit to companies moving into … Continue reading

Draft Baltimore City comprehensive plan outlined to GBC Board

Baltimore City Planning director Otis Rolley outlined the city’s draft comprehensive plan to the GBC Board of Directors at its March 10 meeting. The city hasn’t revised its master plan since 1971. A flawed city zoning code is among major issues the plan seeks to address, Rolley said. The existing zoning code suffers from complex and confusing regulations and ineffective development controls, he added. The draft comprehensive plan is written … Continue reading