Update on Legislation

SCRAP METAL

SB 99-Junk Dealers and Scrap Metal Processors

House Action: Passed          Senate Action: Passed         Bill going to Conference Committee.  MACO testimony

HB 1174- Junk Dealers and Scrap Metal Processors-Required Records

House Action: Passed in amended form          Senate Action:  No hearing date has been scheduled

HB 1536-Junk Dealers and Scrap Metal Processors-Required Records and Reporting

House Action: Bill heard in Economic Matters Committee on March 23            MACo testimony

As the bills sit now, MACo supports the House versions — where the bills explicitly allow counties to enact tougher regulations locally to suit local needs.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

HB 1280-Workers’ Compensation-Medical Presumptions

House Action: Passed (113-24)           Senate Action: No hearing date has been scheduled.                  Senate Cross File: SB 646-heard in Senate Finance Committee, no committee vote has been taken

HB 1280 would have drastically expanded the cancer presumption for firefighters and rescue workers and created a new presumption for infectious diseases.  MACo opposed the bill and was successful in having amendments added that removed the infectious diseases, limited the additional cancers to esophageal and brain, although the House also added lung cancer, and made all of the public safety presumptions rebuttable.  MACo has dropped its opposition to the bill and now Supports with Amendments (still seeking to remove lung cancer from these broad presumptions)

HB 1318-Workers’ Compensation-Death Benefits-Dependency

House Action: Passed           Senate Action: No hearing date has been scheduled.             Senate Cross File: SB 953-heard in Senate Finance, no committee vote has been taken

MACo was the sole opponent of the bill at the hearing in the House Economic Matters Committee based on concerns about how the revised death benefits interacted with death benefits under the public safety presumptions.  The House Economic Matters Committee amended the bill to address MACo’s concerns but the amendments were rejected on the House floor after a short and confusing debate.  The “clean” bill passed out of the House.

MISS UTILITY

HB 1290-Underground Facilities-Damage Prevention

House Action: Heard in House Economic Matters Committee, no committee vote has been taken

SB 911-Underground Facilities-Damage Prevention

Senate Action: Favorable with Amendments from Senate Finance Committee-on Senate floor for final vote

MACo opposed the bill because it removed local marking fee authority, imposed new mandates by requiring the marking of storm drains, and empowered a new unaccountable entity,  the Maryland Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Authority (Authority) with broad powers. The amended bill maintains local marking fee authority, removes all references to the marking of storm drains, and ensures that local governments will not be charged or assessed a fee either directly or indirectly, for the operations of the newly established Authority.  MACo officially changed its position to Support because the amended version addressed MACo’s major concerns.

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

SB 1123-Political Subdivisions-Collective Bargaining Agreements-Binding Arbitration

Senate Action: Passed Senate                House Action: no hearing date has been set                 MACo position: Oppose

SB 590-Fairness in Negotiations Act

Senate Action: Passed Senate 35-12 House Action: Hearing in Ways and Means on 3/31           House Cross File-HB 243-not moving                MACo Postion: Oppose

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT

HB 1125-Stormwater Management-Development Projects-Requirements

House Action: Passed House in amended form                Senate Action: Hearing in Education, Health and Environmental Affairs 4/8 @ 1:00 p.m.             MACo Supported the bill AELR will take up the Stormwater Management regulations on April 6 at 4:00 p.m. in the Joint Hearing Room.  Pending a decision of the committee, MACo will determine if a panel is needed to testify on April 8.

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