Tuesday Morning Legislative Wrap-Up

With a number of county issues still “in play” in the waning days of the session, MACo worked toward resolution on a range of topics. Here’s a brief summary of several issues’ resolution:

MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT

The Bill(s): SB 310, HB 304
Where The Decision Rested: Conference Committee (Delegates Kaiser, Rice, Olzewski; Senators Kasemeyer, Robey, Brinkley)
What MACo sought: As much useful new guidance as possible for the new MOE waiver system, delay in the effect of a “penalty” for missing MOE, reasonable timeline for county decisions
Final resolution: Bills failed, conference report was completed but not passed in time

LOCAL PERMIT TOLLING

The Bill(s): HB 1344
Where The Decision Rested: Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee
What MACo sought: MACo opposes the bill’s intrusion into local decision-making by automatically extending a wide range of local permits, and seeks an UNFAVORABLE report
Final resolution: Bill failed. Senate Committee “held” the bill during its last formal voting session, and it was defeated.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION – PRESUMPTIONS

The Bill(s): HB 1280
Where The Decision Rested: Senate Finance Committee
What MACo sought: MACo believes that the House-amended bill is close to acceptable, but resists any move back toward the broad presumptions in the introduced bill
Final resolution: Bill failed. Senate Committee did not raise the bill for a final vote.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION – DEATH BENEFITS

The Bill(s): HB 1318
Where The Decision Rested: Senate Finance Committee
What MACo sought: MACo opposed the bill due to its specific effect on post-employment presumption cases, seeks those cases to be amended out, perhaps with study of related issues
Final resolution: Bill failed. Senate Committee did not raise the bill for a final vote.

HEAVY MACHINERY TAXATION

The Bill(s): SB 685
Where The Decision Rested: House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Budget and Taxation Committee
What MACo sought: MACo opposed the initial bill, but negotiated a “revenue neutral” version with the affected industry representatives to maintain local revenue streams
Final resolution: Bill passed, with compromise language and technical House amendments. Final action wasn’t until Monday.

TEACHER LABOR DISPUTE PROCEDURES (aka “FAIRNESS IN NEGOTIATIONS”)

The Bill(s): SB 590
Where The Decision Rested: House Ways and Means Committee
What MACo sought: MACo opposed the bill, participated in a workgroup making suggestions for possible changes, but did not succeed in attaching meaningful amendments
Final resolution: Bill passed, with modest changes from the bill as introduced.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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