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State House Update: GBC’s 2014 Sine Die Report

In the years following the recession, Maryland has fared better than many states. Today, the state’s median household income remains the highest in the country; the unemployment rate is lower than two-thirds of the nation, and nearly 135,000 jobs have been recovered since the Mid-Atlantic region hit rock bottom in February 2010. However, as outlined in the Greater Baltimore Committee’s 2013 report, “A Compact for Competitiveness,” in order for Maryland … Continue reading

State House Update: As Sine Die nears, major issues still on the table

STATE HOUSE UPDATE As the General Assembly moves closer to the final day of the 2014 Legislative Session a few key issues remain unresolved, chief among them the state’s Operating Budget. While both the House and the Senate have passed the state’s $39 billion budget plan, neither has yet passed the other chambers’ version – a mandatory step before the legislation becomes law. A conference committee has been established to … Continue reading

State House Update: Economic development initiatives could be important tools for job growth

Earlier this year, the Pew Charitable Trustspublished a report predicting job creation trends for 2014. Using data from Moody’s Analytics, Pew created an interactive map showing both the anticipated number of jobs that will be created in each state and the percentage of job growth. Of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., Maryland ranked 29th highest with a projected increase of more than 40,000 jobs this year and a job growth … Continue reading

New commission to frame state’s business development agenda

Three GBC members will serve on a commission created by Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr., and House Speaker Michael E. Busch to study the state’s economic development structure and incentive programs. The two legislative leaders last week announced members of the private-sector-driven commission, a major element of their joint legislative business and economic development agenda, which was announced in January. Many of the objectives of the joint legislative … Continue reading

Transportation funding bill clears committee, sent to House floor

Governor Martin O’Malley’s legislation to increase funding for Maryland’s transportation infrastructure cleared the House Ways and Means Committee on March 18, receiving a 16-4 favorable vote with amendments. This is the first time in decades that a comprehensive bill to address the state’s growing transportation funding crisis — a top priority of the GBC — has reached the floor of a General Assembly chamber. A vote in the House is … Continue reading

Business, labor leaders voice support for governor’s transportation bill

Leaders from Maryland’s business and labor sectors voiced unified support for transportation funding legislation proposed by Governor Martin O’Malley and the state’s two top legislative leaders. At a morning news conference on March 15, leaders from the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Maryland Transportation Builders and Materials Association and two representatives of construction-trade labor unions urged lawmakers to pass the proposed measure to raise $800 … Continue reading

Unmet county priority lists frame the need for transportation funding bill

  By Donald C. Fry Lawmakers today will begin to consider the transportation funding package proposed jointly by Governor O’Malley, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller as the House Ways and Means Committee holds the first hearing on the proposal. Transportation advocates, myself included, who are voicing strong support for this consensus proposal can expect to address one simple question: why does the state have to raise … Continue reading

Baltimore’s Penn Station – beyond the restrooms, a vision emerges

  By Donald C. Fry For Baltimore’s deteriorating 102-year-old Penn Station, a chronic sore subject for city leaders and for the region’s business executives who travel the railroad’s northeast corridor, a long-sought revitalization is underway, according to the top Amtrak executive for the railroad’s northeast corridor. Amtrak will make more than $850,000 worth of short-term improvements to the station this year, including renovating its restrooms, creating an outdoor plaza on … Continue reading

Federal agency moves Baltimore Red Line a step closer to reality

  The proposed light rail Red Line for the Baltimore region took a step closer to becoming a reality on February 28 when the Federal Transit Administration issued a “record of decision” that signals the federal agency’s approval of the project’s preliminary engineering plans and environmental impact statement. The 14-mile east-west Red Line, which would run from Woodlawn through Baltimore City to Bayview and connect with north-south light rail and … Continue reading

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