The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of finance and procurement in the 2022 General Assembly.
The unique circumstances surrounding the 444th legislative session, including necessary health and safety measures, posed a challenge for lawmakers and advocates alike. Yet, despite the unusual circumstances, MACo’s advocacy still led to more positive outcomes for its members.
MACo supported SB 453. This bill creates a grant program to help counties, nonprofits, and other eligible applicants establish or expand makerspaces. The bill could stimulate economic development and promote diverse and vibrant business communities within our counties. This in turn creates jobs, contributes to enhancing quality of life, and expands the local tax base – enabling counties to better provide core services for Maryland families and businesses. SB 453 Economic Development – Maryland Makerspace Initiative passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported HB 451 / SB 542. By standardizing payment practices, this bill would have created a level playing field for state grant recipients, including local governments and nonprofits that provide a wide swath of viral community services for Maryland residents. SB 542 passed the Senate but failed in the House. HB 451 / SB 542 – State Finance and Procurement – Grants – Prompt Payment Requirement did not advance in the 2022 session.
MACo supported HB 710 / SB 516. This bill would have generally expanded access to State economic development benefits under the More Jobs for Marylanders Program to businesses located in transit-oriented developments. Counties supported the bill because it would have incentivized private investment in transit-oriented communities to encourage economic growth, create jobs, and promote environmental sustainability. HB 710 / SB 516 Equitable and Inclusive Transit-Oriented Development Enhancement Act did not advance in the 2022 session.
MACo opposed legislation to reform the appeals processes and procedures of local government procurement, setting a mandated one-size-fits-all approach to the process and requiring all contract appeals to be reviewed by the state instead of current policies allowing local governments to manage their own procurement systems and appeals. The bill would have greatly increased costs for county procurement and would have delayed projects that were appealed. HB 1353 Omnibus Procurement Reform Act (“OPRA”) of 2022 failed in the General Assembly.
MACo opposed supported legislation with amendments to reform state procurement processes and lower the maximum amount of days to fulfill contract payments from 30 days to 15 days. MACo successfully worked with the bill sponsors to pursue an amendment to exempt local governments from the bill and have its requirements only apply to state procurement practices. HB 325 / SB 250 State and Local Procurement – Payment Practices was amended to only apply to state procurement and passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
More information on finance-related legislation tracked by MACo during the 2022 legislative session.
More information on procurement-related legislation tracked by MACo during the 2022 legislative session.