MACo: Remove Public Sector Employees from Medical Cannabis Use Bill

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin yesterday submitted testimony to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to support SB 504 Discrimination in Employment - Use of Medial Cannabis - Prohibition with amendments. This bill prohibits counties, from taking adverse actions against an employee based on the employee’s receipt of a written certification for use of medical cannabis or the employee’s positive drug test for cannabis components or metabolites. From the MACo Testimony: MACo urges that public sector…

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Counties Suggest Clarifying Amendment for Cannabis Workers’ Compensation Bill

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin yesterday submitted testimony to the House Economic Matters Committee to support HB 683 Workers' Compensation - Medical Cannabis - Compensation and Benefits with amendments. This bill requires employers or their insurers to include medical cannabis with covered medications. From the MACo Testimony: Counties raise concern that due to cannabis being illegal under federal law, being required to provide this as medicine under state law may jeopardize federal funding for local…

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MACo Raises Concerns Over Vague Hiring Requirements Bill

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin today submitted testimony to the Senate Finance Committee to oppose SB 191 Labor and Employment - Hiring - Higher Education Requirements (Give Me a Chance Act). This bill would prohibit employers from discussing educational background during the initial hiring process. From the MACo Testimony: Counties screen job applications prior to interviews, taking into account if the position requires an advanced degree or training, and asking for that information prior to…

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MACo Calls for Broader Engagement in Creating Health and Safety Standards

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson yesterday submitted testimony to the House Economic Matters Committee in opposition to HB 124 Occupational Safety and Health Standards to Protect Employees – Aerosol Transmissible Diseases and COVID-19. This bill implements new regulations and standards to protect employees from airborne diseases. From the MACo Testimony: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed employers, including local governments, under great stressto continue to serve, deliver, or produce while facing safety threats. A path forward…

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Counties Oppose Expanding Prevailing Wage Application

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin yesterday testified in opposition to HB 37 Procurement – Prevailing Wage – Applicability before the House Economic Matters Committee. This bill expands Maryland’s prevailing wage law to include projects that have any shared state funds. From the MACo Testimony: The bill requires county work projects that are funded using any State funds to pay workers the prevailing wage. Currently, the State’s sensible rule is that the “majority partner” of a…

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MACo: Benefit Plan to Create High Costs for Local Government

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin today testified in opposition to SB 211 Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2021) before the Senate Finance Committee. This bill would create and implement a Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program funded through shared employee and employer contributions. The Program would provide up to 24 weeks of benefits to covered individuals taking leave due to specific personal…

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MACo Recommends Study for On-Site Wastewater Services Bill

On January 15, 2021, MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified virtually before the House Environment and Transportation Committee to support HB 302 Environment - On-Site Wastewater Services - Regulation with amendments. This bill would create minimum standards for individuals who perform on-site wastewater systems. From the MACo Testimony: Data presented showed issues with systems were not abundant within three years after installations, suggesting that installers are sufficiently regulated. The vast majority of counties already require licensure for…

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State Reopens Newly Extended Federal Unemployment Programs

Governor Hogan last week announced that the Maryland Department of Labor has started to accept claims and issue payments for federal unemployment insurance programs that were extended under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) unemployment insurance programs were recently extended by the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act. From the press release: “Just one week after the federal…

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New Stimulus Bill Extends Tax Credits, Paid Leave Mandate Expires

The president last month signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R. 133), a $2.3 trillion spending bill that combines $900 billion in COVID-19 stimulus relief with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill for the 2021 federal fiscal year. Notably, the package also contains provisions related to the paid sick and family leave program authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (P.L. 116-127), which went into effect on April 1, 2020. The FFCRA was…

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Top Issues of 2021 Session: COVID-19 Response and Relief

With the 2021 Legislative Session rapidly approaching, MACo is profiling some major issues that stand to gather attention in the General Assembly’s work. Here, we look at the state-level responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the many effects across Maryland. 2020 was marked, globally, by the outbreak of a pandemic - a novel coronavirus that has cost thousands of lives, and has undermined normal activity for most people. With vaccines hopefully in sight, policymakers face…

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