On February 19th, Les Knapp of MACo, Candace Donoho from MML, Tom Ballentine from NAIOP Maryland, and Lori Graf from the Maryland Building Industry testified in support of SB 729 Task Force on Forest Conservation in Maryland with amendments.
From the MACo Testimony:
MACo supports the idea of a task force to review FCA and tree issues prior to proposing any statutory changes to the FCA or other tree programs. However, meaningful concerns over membership balance and scope prevented passage of such a task force in the 2017 and 2018 Sessions.
MACo believes that with some amendments to membership and scope, SB 729 would have MACo’s support. It is critical for everyone to be operating with the same data and understanding of what is happening with Maryland’s forests before making important and far-reaching policy decisions. However, MACo cannot support a bill that arbitrarily limits representation or review of valid data or leads to pre-determined outcomes.
The amendments offered by the NAIOP-MD are a reasonable starting point for discussion and MACo supports the Committee giving the bill’s proponents and opponents some time to work through these amendments.
For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.