$15 Minimum Wage, Slowed and Amended, Moves to House Floor

A House Committee has given preliminary approval to an amended version of the $15 minimum wage proposal. HB 166, proposing to phase-in a $15 minmum wage across Maryland, has gotten its first stamp of approval. The House Economic Matters Committee voted 17-7 to pass an amended version of the bill, and send that report to the floor of the House of Delegates for a full vote. The bill is likely to come up whit week…

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Allan Kittleman Confirmed For Workers’ Comp Commission

The Senate, on Friday, February 1, consented to the Gubernatorial appointment of Allan Kittleman as a Member of the State Worker's Compensation Commission. Kittleman, former Howard County Executive, will serve the remainder of a 12-year appointment, which began on February 1, 2008. Allan H. Kittleman, a lifelong Howard County resident, was elected in 2014 as the ninth County Executive, pledging improved transparency, strong fiscal management, and bipartisanship. He had previously also served as a member…

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U.S. Employers Add 304,000 Jobs in January; Unemployment at 4%

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, and the unemployment rate edged up to 4.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The United States Department of Labor this morning released its monthly estimate of hiring, unemployment, and wages for January. The report provides a crucial snapshot of the American economy. Despite the partial federal government shutdown, a slowing global economy, and trade tensions with China, employers added 304,000 jobs in January, marking a 100th straight…

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Conduit Street Podcast: Clues to Hogan’s Budget Proposal, Economic Uncertainty Looming, and the Latest from #MDGA19

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast. You can listen to previous episodes of the Conduit Street Podcast on our website. Useful Links Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Governor Hogan Previews 2020 Budget Proposal Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Federal Government Shutdown: State, Local Governments Feel the Pinch Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Maryland Counties Rally…

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2019 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference

The Department of Legislative Services has released its quadrennial Legislative Handbook Series, a deep and useful reference series that encapsulates nearly every issue of government at the state and local level. The series may be downloaded or viewed online for free at the links below: Legislative Handbook Series: Vol 1 – Legislators Handbook Vol 2 – Government Services Vol 3 – Revenue Structure Vol 4 – Budget Process Vol 5 – Personnel, Pensions & Procurement…

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State Unemployment Rate Ticks Down

Driven by strong gains in the professional and business services industry, Maryland's unemployment rate fell slightly to 4 percent in November, from 4.1 percent the month before, according to recent statistics from the United States Department of Labor. According to The Baltimore Sun: Unemployment is also lower than a year ago, but still not as low as the national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, which was unchanged from the month before The state added 7,900…

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Hogan Taps Kelly Schulz to Lead Department of Commerce
Kelly M. Schulz Secretary, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (photo courtesy of DLLR)
Hogan Taps Kelly Schulz to Lead Department of Commerce

Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of Kelly M. Schulz as secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce. Schulz currently serves as secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). Secretary Schulz, whose nomination is subject to Senate confirmation, will replace Secretary R. Michael Gill, who will return to the private sector after leading Commerce —formerly the Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) — since Hogan took office in 2015. James…

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Who Needs a Cubicle? Tennessee Takes Teleworking to the Max

For Tennessee state employees, the concept of individual offices, cubicles, and desks, adorned with family photos and mementos, is becoming a thing of the past. The state's ambitious new approach to the workplace, Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS), goes far beyond traditional telecommuting - and in addition to boosting employee morale and productivity, it's saving the state millions of dollars. According to Governing: In exchange for giving up their desk or office, participating employees can work…

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Supreme Court: Age Discrimination Law Applies to All Public Employees

All state and local governments need to comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, no matter their size. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that local governments with small workforces must comply with a federal law against age discrimination. The justices ruled Tuesday in favor of two Arizona firefighters who claimed they were laid off because of their age when their local fire district faced a budget crisis. According to Route Fifty:…

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Secretary Schulz Visits Charles to Discuss Economic Development

The Charles County Economic Development Department held its annual fall meeting this week to explore ways to grow and maintain a successful workforce in Charles County. Influential community leaders from the public and private sectors participated in panel discussions to share their experiences with educating, training, and sustaining the workforce. Kelly Schulz, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, served as the keynote speaker. According to a press release: “This year’s meeting was…

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