This post summarizes the status of various employee benefits and relations bills that MACo took a position on.
Direct Deposit of Wages: HB 233/SB 484 would authorize counties and municipal corporations to pay employees’ wages by direct deposit. However, the House has taken an approach that would require direct deposit, unless the employee opts out. The Senate’s approach would require direct deposit as a condition of employment and provide an opt-out for those individuals who do not have a bank account. In addition, MACo sought an amendment to grandfather those jurisdictions that currently may require direct deposit through a collective bargaining agreement, personnel regulation or local law. This language was amended into the HB 233 by the Senate, but the House did not concur. The differences will need to be resolved by a conference committee. Status: House conferees have been appointed for HB 233. Senate conferees will be appointed tomorrow. SB 484 has passed third reader in the House and will go the Senate for concurrence tomorrow. MACo Testimony
Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits: HB 1228/SB 882 would provide an extended 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to Maryland’s long-term unemployed who have exhausted all of their State and federal emergency unemployment benefits. The Federal government is providing 100% funding for private employers, but the State and many local governments are self-insured and would be required to pay these benefits directly to any former employees who qualify. MACo expressed concerns with the fiscal effects of the bill. Working with the Administration and members of the House and Senate Committees, a compromise was reached that would provide for local government reimbursement for a portion of costs associated with providing these benefits (see previous post). Status: Both bills are moving in the same form through their respective chambers towards final passage. MACo Testimony