2018 End of Session Wrap-Up: Business Affairs

MACo seeks to protect local licensing flexibility, expand access for residents to critical services, and enhance citizens’ safety through its business affairs advocacy. The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in this area in the 2018 General Assembly.

Follow links for more coverage on Conduit Street and MACo’s Legislative Database

Electrical and Trade Licensing

Push Icons-DEFEATEDMACo opposed a bill that would have repealed long-standing local authority to license electricians and imposed a new, less comprehensive, statewide system. MACo believes it is still premature to address this issue while broader discussions on electrical licensing reform are still underway. The bill received an unfavorable report from the House Economic Matters Committee.

Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Rural Broadband Access

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo supported a bill that would extend the timeline for a task force examining rural broadband access with amendments to ensure the rural parts of all of Maryland’s counties are examined. The task force has made valuable progress in identifying challenges to underserved or unserved areas of the State. The bill has passed both houses unanimously with the MACo amendments and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Push Icons-IMPROVEDMACo also supported a bill that would require the mapping of inventory and assets throughout the State with amendments to ensure that the rural areas of all counties are afforded the same review and benefits of the inventory and mapping. This will significantly encourage steps toward advancing broadband service for all areas of our state. The bill has passed both houses unanimously with the MACo amendments and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Wireless Security Systems

Push Icons-WONMACo supported a bill that establishes sensible parameters on the regulation of wireless security systems with amendments that provided clarity to vague provisions proposed law and protected the safety of county residents. It passed both houses unanimously with MACo amendments and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Small Cells

Push Icons-MORE WORKMACo opposed a bill that would have regulated small cell technology across the state and significantly preempted local authority and had inequitable impacts on local communities. While counties embrace innovation and the advancement of broadband technology, local authority and community decision-making is crucial. The bill’s hearing was canceled and did not move out of committee. Bill Information | MACo Coverage

Limited Residential Lodging (Airbnb!)

Push Icons-NOT IDEALMACo supported two bills to require short-term rentals, such as Airbnb, and individuals who act as hosts on those platforms to be registered with the Comptroller and regulated. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 1081 did not make it out of committee and House Bill 1604 was given an unfavorable report by the House Economic Matters Committee. MACo Coverage

For more information on business affairs legislation tracked by MACo during the 2018 legislative session, click here.