Counties Call for More Flexibility with RISE Zones

On February 8, 2023, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko submitted testimony to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 0333 – Economic Development – Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise Zone Program – Alterations and Financing.

The House Ways and Means Committee will consider the bill’s cross-file, HB 0471, on February 16.

SB 0333 alters the period of time that an area may be designated as a Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise (RISE) Zone—a geographic area in immediate proximity to qualified institutions targeted for increased economic and community development. From engineering, to biotechnology, to agriculture, RISE Zones play an integral role in consolidating state and local resources toward encouraging the growth of these vital industries. The zones are also frequently created in close consultation with county government to ensure that the business investment reflects the needs of local communities. For these reasons, counties welcome the enhanced flexibility that SB 0333 would bring to the implementation of RISE Zones in the State.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties support SB 333 as it adds flexibility within the RISE zone program. By extending a zone’s lifespan from five to 10 years, removing the limit of three zones per county, and enabling the use of MEDCO obligations for financing, these measures serve to super-change economic development within RISE zone communities and further efforts to advance local innovation at Maryland’s world-class universities and research institutions.

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