End of Session Update: Employee Benefits and Relations

A previous post provided the status of various employee benefit and relation bills that MACo took a position on. Now that the dust has settled, this post provides the final of these bills, which did not reach final passage until the last day.

Direct Deposit of WagesHB 233/SB 484 would authorize counties and municipal corporations to pay employees’ wages by direct deposit.  The House and Senate took differing approaches with these bills and a conference committee was appointed to resolve these differences.  MACo advocated for the Senate’s version of the bill, which prevailed, requiring direct deposit as a condition of employment and providing an opt-out for those individuals who do not have a bank account.  In addition, the bill grandfathered those jurisdictions that currently may require direct deposit through a collective bargaining agreement, personnel regulation or local law.  Status:   HB 233 passed both chambers and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.  SB 484 died in conference committee. MACo Testimony

Extended Unemployment Insurance BenefitsHB 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 passed the General Assembly and are awaiting the Governor’s signature. MACo Testimony

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