The General Assembly is now in its final week of the Regular Legislative Session and bills have started moving to their ultimate end. After a bill passes out of its chamber of origin, it crosses over into the opposite chamber where it must receive favorable report from its assigned committee and then a majority vote by the full chamber to pass.
This post summarizes the status of business-related bills that MACo supported or opposed.
Statewide Container Recycling Incentive Program: HB 1085/SB641 would create a statewide container deposit of five cents, to be redeemed through a series of county-operated or licensed redemption centers. MACo opposed this legislation stating that the complex fiscal and operational underpinnings of the bill leave counties absorbing substantial expense and risk in this operation, and the new redemption infrastructure could up-end Maryland’s already very successful efforts to promote citizen acceptance of and participation in recycling efforts. Status: HB 1085 received an unfavorable report from the House Environmental Matters Committee and the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee did not move SB 641. The bill is not likely to pass.
Task Force to Study Licensing and Continuing Education Requirements for Electricians: HB 1386/SB916 would establish a Task Force to Study Licensing and Continuing Education Requirements for Electricians. As introduced, the charge of the Task Force was restricted to focusing on transitioning to a statewide electrician’s license, and Task Force membership was limited. MACo supported this legislation with amendments which would broaden the focus of the Task Force to review appropriate approaches for licensure and also consider the effects of a preferred licensure approach on the electricians currently licensed and the boards that oversee licensing at the State and local level and would expand the county membership on the Task Force to include one member from a local licensing board that licenses journeyman and one member from a local licensing board with an established continuing education program. Status: SB 916 passed the Senate with MACo’s amendments and had a hearing in the House Economic Matters Committee on March 27. The bill is likely to pass with MACo’s amendments.
Crimes – Sale of Drug Paraphernalia to a Minor – Local Law Authorizing Business License Revocation for a Second or Subsequent Violation: SB117 would allow the governing body of a county to adopt a local law that authorizes the county to revoke or not renew the business license of an establishment for the second or subsequent conviction of an employee selling drug paraphernalia to a minor. MACo supported this authorizing legislation because it would provide local governments with an additional tool to address what some find is a persistent public safety issue. Status: SB117 passed the Senate and had a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on March 26.