Register to Attend CEIWC’s 2017 Free Workers’ Comp Seminars

Register to attend one of Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company’s Workers’ Compensation Seminars. Specialists in safety services, premium audit, claims management along with legal professionals will provide a valuable half-day best practices overview.

Upcoming Seminar Dates:

  • Thursday, April 20 at the Pikesville Double Tree Hotel: Register here
  • Thursday, May 4 at the Easton Tidewater Inn: Register here
  • Thursday, October 5 at the Bowie Comfort Inn Hotel: Register here
  • Thursday, October 12 at the Frederick Holiday Inn and Conference Center: Register here

Registration will begin at 8:30 am and the seminar will go from 9:00 am until 1 pm. Admission is free but online reservations are required. Executive continental breakfast and refreshments will be provided.

Watch the YouTube video below to see why you should attend a policyholders seminar.

Key Presenters:

  • Elizabeth Torphy-Donzella, Esq., Shawe Rosenthal, LLP
  • Dr. Stephen Fisher, Director of Medical Services, Chesapeake Employers

Topics of the seminars’ informative presentations:

  • Employment Law – Best Practices to Avoid Wage and Hour Claims
  • Top 3 Most Common and Costly Injuries and Steps to Prevent Them
  • Understanding the Premium Audit Process
  • Chesapeake Employers’ Claims & Medical Health Services Team Approach for Better Claims Outcomes & an Improved E-Mod.
  • Chesapeake Employers’ Legal Defense Services Overview
  • Mock Workers’ Compensation Hearing with a Maryland Workers’ Comp. Commissioner

For more information please contact Carolyn Gutermuth at 410-494-2170. CEIWC is a MACo Gold Corporate Partner.

Register Now: Maryland Governor’s Business Summit 17 on May 18

Join Governor Hogan for the first Maryland Governor’s Business Summit on May 18, 2017 from 8am until 4pm. Explore topics on human capital, global trends and business strategy. Connect with a wide array of Maryland’s business leaders. The Summit will be at the Hilton Baltimore – Key Ballroom: 401 W Pratt Street Baltimore, MD 21201.

Governor Larry Hogan said,

“Great things are happening in Maryland. Our economic climate has gone from 49th in the nation to number 11 – the largest jump among states. Our companies are adding thousands of new jobs to our communities, more than 73,000 since January 2015.  We are making meaningful progress for business.  Let’s capture this momentum!”

Breakout Topics Include:

  • Redefining urban centers across Maryland
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Future of manufacturing in Maryland
  • Next generation learning environments
  • Top education leaders discuss innovation through partnerships
  • Maryland on the front lines of global threats

Tickets are currently available for $150. Click here to register.

Stay up-to-date with the Maryland Department of Commerce by subscribing to the Maryland Business Pulse newsletter.

House Committee Votes Down Gov. Hogan’s Redistricting Bill

The House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee (which has jurisdiction over constitutional amendments, regardless of the subject matter) today killed a flagship item on Governor Larry Hogan’s legislative agenda, turning down a measure to change the way legislative districts are drawn.

HB 385 proposes a constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters in the next general election, requires the appointment of a General Assembly and Congressional Legislative Redistricting and Apportionment Commission. The commission must divide the State into consecutively numbered legislative districts that conform to existing constitutional provisions and create as many congressional districts as there are representatives in Congress apportioned to Maryland.

The cross-file to the bill, SB 252, was heard by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on March 3, 2017.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.

Fun Fact: Did You Know that Garrett County was Named After the President of the B&O Railroad (1872)?

Question: Did you know that Garrett County was named after the president of the B&O Railroad (1872)?

It’s true!  Garrett County was the last of Maryland’s counties to be created.  The County was named after the president of the B&O Railroad at the time, John Work Garrett.  John Garrett died at Deer Park, Garrett County in 1884.  The railroad was responsible for Garrett County’s economic growth during the later half of the 19th century which is why it was named for him.

garrettSource: www.rootsweb.com

Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Kaley Schultze to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.

FEMA is Seeking Individuals for Reservist Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is looking for individuals to join its reservist program. The Reservist program is an opportunity for retired, professional, and early career job seekers.  Reservists work on an intermittent basis, supporting survivors of incidents.  They are the main FEMA workforce during an emergency or disaster that assists the agency in accomplishing its mission.  Each Reservist is hired to a personnel group (Cadre) based on his or her skills and experience.  The following FEMA cadres are currently seeking Reservists:

RESERVIST CADRES
Acquisitions Alternative Dispute Resolution
Disaster Emergency Communications Disaster Field Training Operations
Disaster Survivor Assistance Disability Integration
Environmental/Historic Preservation Equal Rights
External Affairs Financial Management
Hazard Mitigation Human Resources
Individual Assistance Information Technology
Logistics National Disaster Recovery Support
Office of Chief Council Operations
Planning Public Assistance
Safety Security

Join Their Team

Reservists help FEMA respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards by performing a variety of emergency management functions.  Reservists functions include, but are not limited to, disaster survivors assistance, conducting and verifying damage assessments, and providing administrative, and logistical support.  FEMA is currently seeking talented men and women who are eager to assist disaster survivors as Reservist employees. Industry experts are needed in the capacities of: human resources, public affairs, emergency management, customer service, security, logistics, communications, or public relations.  Candidates who seek a rewarding opportunity to assist disaster survivors when they are most in need should send their resume to fema-careers@fema.dhs.gov.

For more information on the Reservist Program visit http://careers.fema.gov/reservists-intermittent.

Fun Fact: Did You Know That the Landing at St. Clement’s Island in St. Mary’s County Marks the Founding of Maryland?

Question: Did you know that the landing at St. Clement’s Island in St. Mary’s County marks the founding of Maryland?

clementsIt’s true! The landing at St. Clement’s Island on March 25, 1634, marks the founding of Maryland and an important moment for religious heritage in the United States, for Catholicism specifically, and the broader principle of religious tolerance.

Although the English laid claim to the land for a new colony, St. Clement’s Island was part of a large landscape that had been inhabited by the Piscataway people for thousands of years. The colonists lingered there for a few weeks, while English leaders met with Piscataway leaders. Then, having decided that the 400-acre island was too small for their settlement, the English moved downriver to the site that would become St. Mary’s City and Maryland’s first capital.

The anniversary of the landing is marked by Maryland Day, which takes place each year on or near the date of the colonists’ arrival. This year’s event takes place Friday, March 24 beginning 2 p.m. The one-hour commemorative program honors the first brave settlers who founded the Maryland colony.  The event is free and open to the public.

st marys seal and mapSource: Find Your Chesapeake and St. Mary’s County press release

Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Kaley Schultze to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.

Airbnb Bill Ignites Debate Between Old Regulations and New Economies

The general assembly is grappling with a bill intended to tax and regulate short-term rental companies, such as Airbnb, in a manner similar to that of traditional hotels and bed and breakfasts.

This bill is but one of many that lawmakers across the nation are considering that challenge whether old regulations can be imposed on businesses within the burgeoning sharing economy or whether new approaches are necessary.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

As state lawmakers debate how to regulate short-term rentals, the mismatched portraits underscore one of the challenges that regulators face: how to make the old tools, long used to regulate traditional enterprises, fit new business models.

Maryland lawmakers have passed bills in recent years to clarify rules for online travel sites and the rideshare app Uber. They’re looking at Airbnb and a more aggressive online sales tax collection this year. The state’s Office of Food Protection is looking into questions around new meal and food delivery services. Federal authorities are studying online lending.

Airbnb, like Uber and other firms in the so-called sharing economy, is powered by a shifting crowd of independent contractors, such as the people who testified last week. They use online platforms to connect to consumers — in the case of Airbnb, travelers looking for accommodations — and the corporation takes a piece of any transaction.

Michael Sanderson, the executive director of the Maryland Association of Counties, sees the back-and-forth over Airbnb in the tradition of wrangling over corporate regulations to keep up with technology.

But he said the dynamics of Uber and Airbnb — which have not been shy about mobilizing users to their side — have changed the flavor of debates.

Earlier changes were “sort of corporate versus corporate,” he said. “A lot of this is individual- and small-business- and citizen-driven.”

MACo supported the bill in question, SB 463, with amendments. Counties support reasonable regulation of short-term rentals in the interest of protecting the safety and welfare of their communities. However, they also wish to ensure that any regulatory scheme is developed without unintended consequences that may undermine the benefits and prevent the industry from continuing to thrive.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun

Report: More Naloxone, Fewer Overdose Deaths

Opioid abuse and overdose deaths continues to be a major public health crisis in Maryland and across the nation. But there are at least some encouraging signs in this nationwide fight.

A new study shows that the recent increase in access to Naloxone correlates to a decrease in overdose deaths. Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help prevent overdoses by blocking opioid receptor sites, reversing the toxic effects of the overdose.

As reported on Route Fifty:

A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that these laws have in fact made an impact. Using data for the period from 1999 to 2014 available in the National Vital Statistics System multiple cause-of-death mortality files, researchers found that adoption of these naloxone access laws has been associated with up to an 11 percent reduction in opioid-involved deaths.

Results of the research suggest that perhaps that the most important thing a state can do with its Naloxone-related legislation is to remove any criminal liability associated with possessing the overdose-antagonist drug.

Eleven states adopted such measures within the period studied. In those 11 states, these laws are associated with a 13 percent reduction in opioid-related overdose deaths, whereas the effect of naloxone access laws in states without these criminal liability provisions is considerably smaller—an effect that is “statistically indistinguishable from zero,” according to the report.

For more information read the National Bureau of Economic Research report and the full article on Route Fifty.

Save Money With the New Maintenance, Repair, and Operating Supplies Contract from U.S. Communities

New MRO Contract Provides Comprehensive Solutions Making It Easier Than Ever to Get the Supplies You Need at Competitive Prices

2016 US CommU.S. Communities recently announced a new national cooperative contract for maintenance, repair, operating supplies, industrial supplies and related products and services. This contract was awarded to The Home Depot, HD Supply Facilities Maintenance, Applied Industrial Technologies, and SupplyWorks, A Home Depot Company through a competitive solicitation process conducted by the lead public agency, Maricopa County, Arizona. The contract term is for five years with the option to renew for five additional one year periods. To learn more about this new contract and the solutions available, view details below or register for a complimentary one-hour webinar.

This contract makes it easier to get the products and services you need under one contract while saving time and money. This multi-award provides public agencies these options when looking for MRO solutions.

The Home Depot: Access to millions of products for maintenance, repair, and operations needs and capital improvements; available the same day at one of The Home Depot’s 1,960+ store locations.

  • Simple sourcing options available. Purchase online, in-store or special order with PCI compliant process.
  • Bulk and volume pricing discounts on orders over $1,500 plus earn a potential 5% annual rebate on all Home Depot purchases.

Get Started with the Home Depot

HD Supply: Competitively-awarded MRO products and property improvement services on a single contract.

  • Discounts on over 70,000 MRO and property management products.
  • Tiered rebate based on you Agency’s annual purchases and early pay invoice discount for HD Supply credit accounts.

Get Started with HD Supply

Applied Industrial Technologies: Access to more than 6 million products from more than 4,000 trusted manufacturers.

  • Expertise- our associates’ ability to evaluate operations and suggest improved products or processes.
  • Local support and inventory- more than 550 facilities and a robust, nationwide sales force.

Get Started with Applied Industrial Technologies

SupplyWorks, A Home Depot Company: Supply a full spectrum of maintenance and hardware products.

  • Team of 700+ national and local facility maintenance experts with a reputation for integrity and dedication, ready to serve you.
  • Problem-solving expertise and smart solutions including: Stockwise Inventory Management Solutions, SupplyWorks In-Site For Education, and SupplyWorks Assessment Tool for Restrooms (SWAT).

Get Started with SupplyWorks

Webinar Dates:

Legislation Could Provide Local Schools with Flexibility on Holidays

Closing schools for Presidents’ Day could become optional for Maryland school districts under a bill (HB 400) being considered in the General Assembly.

The same could happen to Easter Monday.

Concerned about Governor Larry Hogan’s 2016 executive order requiring the state’s 24 school districts to start classes after Labor Day and end by June 15, several state lawmakers want to give local jurisdictions flexibility by removing Presidents’ Day and Easter Monday from the state’s list of mandatory public school holidays.

As reported in The Washington Post,

“These couple of days would be important to the school schedule,” said Del. Pamela G. Beidle (D-Anne Arundel), the chief sponsor of the bill.

The bill’s chances at passage are not clear. Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s), vice chairman of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, called the idea of canceling long-standing holidays a slippery slope.

“What’s next?,” he said. “Martin Luther King Day? Labor Day?”

Last August, Hogan (R) signed an executive order dictating the start and end of school, saying the change would benefit families and the economy. Almost every school district in the state had been starting the academic year before Labor Day.

Although the promise of a longer summer vacation earned strong support from the public, many educators and Democratic lawmakers said the change would cut into learning and test-preparation time.

Hogan’s order led to the resignation of the vice president of the state Board of Education, who accused the governor of usurping the independent board’s authority.

In the meantime, school districts scrambled to ensure that their 2017-2018 school calendars adhered to the order. Anne Arundel County cut its spring break from one week to three days. Montgomery County reduced its number of scheduled school days from 184 to 182, with just two days allotted for bad weather.

John Woolums, director of government relations for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, said Beidle’s bill would provide “much needed” options as districts set up academic calendars, which must take into account state testing schedules, teacher in-service days and required holidays.

Current public-school holidays include Thanksgiving Day and the day after, Christmas Eve through Jan. 1, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, the Friday before Easter through the Monday after Easter, Memorial Day, and, for most counties, primary and general-election days.

Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for Hogan, said the governor is pleased that nearly all Maryland counties are moving forward with “this return to common-sense scheduling.”

She said that starting school after Labor Day is “the right thing to do for Maryland families and students” and that instead of “focusing on [canceling] holidays, school districts should focus on removing the many unnecessary union services days.”

Chasse said Hogan will decide whether to sign the Presidents’ Day/Easter Monday measure if it reaches his desk.

In addition to Beidle’s bill, Sen. Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery) has a bill that would allow a school district that has to close schools because of a state of emergency to reduce the 180-day required school year by up to five days without seeking a waiver from the state Board of Education.

The bill was requested by the Montgomery County school system, the largest in the state, with more than 159,200 students. It has the support of other school districts, as well.

Montgomery’s school board was able to meet Hogan’s requirements for the 2017-2018 school calendar, but school system spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala said, “It’s going to be tough in the future.” Montgomery has scheduled 182 class days next school year.

Bob Mosier, a spokesman for Anne Arundel County Schools Superintendent George Arlotto, said the school district sought a waiver from the state board two years ago to open on Easter Monday to make up for a snow day. If the legislation passes, he said, the district could decide on its own, without needing the state’s permission, to open or close on that day and Presidents’ Day.

“It’s the flexibility that we need in the calendar with the hard start and hard stop date established by the governor’s executive order,” he said.

Pinsky, a vocal opponent of Hogan’s order, says that school districts should legally challenge Hogan over it.

Attorney General Brian E. Frosh’s office issued an opinion last year that the governor may have exceeded his authority. Frosh (D) also said the legislature could overturn the executive order, but there has been no legislation introduced to do that.

Useful Links

The Washington Post Article

Previous Conduit Street Coverage on the School Calendar Debate