Session Update: Finance and Procurement Legislation – Investment and 911 Surcharge

This post summarizes the status of various finance and procurement bills that MACo either considered or took a position on.

Local Government Self-Insurance Funds: HB 174/SB 463 would give local governments greater flexibility to invest self-insurance funds in a more diversified manner. MACo supported this legislation to give local governments the authority to invest these dollars in longer term funds, which could result in enhanced investment returns.  Status: HB 174 has passed the House and was voted favorable by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.  SB 463 has passed the Senate and is scheduled for a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee on April 3.

Letters of Credit – Collateral: HB 868/SB 606 would add a letter of credit (LOC) issued by a Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) to the list of collateral that can be used to secure public funds that the State has on deposit with financial institutions.  MACo supported this legislation, which would clarify that the State Treasurer can accept FHLB letters of credit as collateral to secure these funds. Certain local governments currently have LOCs from FHLBs as collateral to secure funds being held by the State Treasurer.  Status:HB 868 has passed the House and has been voted favorable by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.   SB 606 has passed the Senate and is scheduled for a hearing in the House Appropriation Committee on April 3.

911 Surcharge on Prepaid Services:  HB 779 would reasonably extend Maryland’s current 9-1-1 charge to prepaid wireless services and ensure Maryland’s 9-1-1 system is appropriately supported.  The distribution of this new revenue as 75% to counties for costs associated with maintenance and operations of local 911 systems and 25% to the enhancement fund administered by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.   MACo supported this legislation.  Status: HB 779 was heard in the House Health and Government Operations Committee on March 13 and is awaiting Committee action.

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