Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Associate Director Les Knapp proposed amendments to HB 68 at the bill’s February 3 hearing before the House Environmental Matters Committee. HB 68 is sponsored by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and would require all grant recipients who receive $500,000 or more from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Nonpoint Source Fund for stormwater management or stream and wetland restoration projects demonstrate to MDE that they have taken certain steps to include small businesses, minority business enterprises (MBEs), and women-owned business enterprises (WBEs).
MDE testified that the bill codified existing practice and was necessary to access federal funds. Mr. Knapp responded that MACo had no issue with the proposed steps, but that MDE should have to consider the availability and geographic proximity to the grantee of small businesses, MBEs, and WBEs capable of completing all or part of the project.
Committee Chair Maggie McIntosh agreed to the amendment and asked MDE and MACo to work out exact language.