New Law Bolsters Economic Impact Analysis for Montgomery County Bills

The Montgomery County Council last week passed legislation requiring the County’s Office of Legislative Oversight to prepare an economic impact statement (EIS) for each bill pending before the Council. The legislation aims to strengthen the current EIS requirement, originally enacted in 2010.

Under the bill, sponsored by Councilmember Andrew Friedson, each EIS must include a bill’s potential positive or negative effects, if any, on the County’s workforce, taxation policy, property values, incomes, operating costs to businesses and non-profits operating in the County, capital investment from the private sector, economic development, and the County’s competitiveness. The bill takes effect on March 1, 2020.

“The County’s private sector is crucial to the overall economic health of Montgomery County,” said Councilmember Friedson, who serves on the Government and Fiscal Policy Committee and is the Lead for Parks on the Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee. “Bill 10-19 is an important step in reaffirming the Council’s commitment to evaluating all factors that may impact our economic future, not just on the County’s budget but on the budget of County businesses and taxpayers.”

According to a press release:

The goal of this bill is to ensure that the economic impacts of new legislation on residents, on the County’s budget and on businesses and other stakeholders is thoroughly assessed and is available to all. Bill 10-19 mandates that each EIS examine, “a bill’s potential positive or negative effects, if any, on the County’s workforce, taxation policy, property values, incomes, operating costs to business and non-profits operating in the County, capital investment from the private sector, economic development, and the County’s competitiveness.”

Delineating specific factors for each EIS provides clear guidance to the Office of Legislative Oversight to consider the full range of economic impacts of all new legislation. The EIS standards will take effect for all bills introduced on March 1, 2020 or later. The Council will continue to receive economic impact information on pending legislation from the Department of Finance until March.

Watch Councilmember Friedson’s comments before the final vote on Bill 10-19 here.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Read the full press release for more information.

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