Last Day of Session – MACo’s Watch List

With today the final day of the legislative session, a busier than usual calendar awaits the General Assembly, with no budget yet passed and large debates over taxes and gaming threatening to dominate floor time in each chamber.

Most of the major issues facing counties are essentially resolved, though history suggests last-minute twists and turns often do arise.

As of Monday morning, MACo will be watching closely:

-The final resolution of the teacher pension shift, believed (as reported here Friday) to effect a slightly slower phase-in of the full normal costs, as a 50%-65%-85%-100% four year phase-in.

-The package of “offsets” that survive in the final budget plan, including the effects of income tax changes that carry over into the county income tax yields.

-Final resolution of legislation to refine and clarify the effects of PlanMaryland – bills have passed both the Senate and House, but need final confirmation today to be sent on to the Governor for a signature.

-Final Senate approval of the Administration’s septics legislation, a bill changed significantly by floor amendments from the Senate, and then lesser alterations from the House — the Senate floor must vote to concur with the House changes – that debate is expected Monday morning.

-Final House action on a newly reached compromise on workers’ compensation presumptions for fire department employees. MACo opposed the bill, but has since worked actively to limit the scope of the bill, and to seek a post-session evaluation of both the causal factors and the statutory rebuttability of the presumption itself.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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