2013 Legislative Agenda

The Voice of Montgomery County Business

Ori Reiss, Chairman
Christopher Carpenito, Chair Elect
Tom McElroy, Immediate Past-Chair
Georgette W. Godwin, President & CEO

2013 Maryland Legislative Agenda

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce endorses legislation and public policy that strengthens Maryland’s economic vitality by protecting, enhancing, and leveraging our assets.

Currently, Maryland has an assets advantage due to its proximity to the nation’s capital and federal headquarters, its highly educated workforce and superior education system, and its geographically strategic location and surface transportation. These strengths include, but are not limited to:

  • 10 Fortune 500 companies are major employers
  • 97.6% of the state’s employers are small businesses
  • A vibrant private industry, which represents 88% of the state’s workforce
  • The #2 County (Montgomery) in the nation for small businesses that contract with the federal government
  • A strong civilian federal agency presence
  • Port of Baltimore
  • World-renowned bioscience companies and research facilities
  • United States Cyber Command at Ft. Meade and other military and defense bases
  • A nationally top-ranked K-12 education system and excellent higher education institutions
  • A diverse population including a strong and entrepreneurial immigrant population

Next: To build toward the future of our state, our leaders at the federal, state, and local level should leverage and expand the opportunities that both our civilian federal agency and private sector assets offer to make Maryland #1 in health and cyber security job growth. To position Maryland as a leader in the jobs of tomorrow, we need to strengthen:

GLOBAL TRADE & GLOBAL COMMERCE

  • Increase collaboration with international representatives in Washington, DC including the US Department of Commerce, World Bank, and embassies.
  • Support legislation that encourages Maryland companies to participate in global commerce.
  • Support development projects, such as:
    • The FDA LifeSci Village in White Oak that maximizes commerce with the FDA: an international gateway to American consumers; and
    • The Great Seneca Science Corridor in Gaithersburg, which will serve as Montgomery County’s premier location for the largest concentration of advanced technology companies

COMPETITIVE BUSINESS CLIMATE

  • Affordable, predictable, and competitive – Avoid further tax increases or structural changes, such as combined reporting, or the expansion of the sales tax, that would harm Maryland’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining employers.
  • Avoid a restrictive regulatory environment – Take a comprehensive and thorough review of the current regulatory structure and avoid imposing additional regulatory measures which could stifle innovation and chill investment, especially as it relates to our multi-faceted technology based industries.
  • Responsible and Equitable Spending – restrain new spending initiatives in order to protect Maryland’s future financial stability.
    • Advocate for additional state revenues for education and transportation priorities in Montgomery County.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTEconomic Development efforts should support the growth of jobs in a “knowledge-based” economy, including investment in infrastructure, and enhance the overall business climate in Maryland.

  • Aggressively identify and capture new employers to locate headquarters and jobs in Maryland.
  • Small and Entrepreneurial Business Development – Support initiatives including those related to the procurement processes that result in the growth of small and entrepreneurial oriented businesses.
  • Grow technology sectors to remain economically competitive
    • Increase incentives for technology businesses to locate and grow in Maryland, including the R&D Tax Credit, the Biotech Tax Credit, and Stem Cell research fund.
    • Support additional legislation that results in fostering the growth of energy technology, green technology and information technology jobs.

EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE PREPARATION

  • K-12 Education. We must continue to invest in capital infrastructure and broadband access for our public schools in order to continue to have a world class system.
  • Access to higher education is critical to ensuring Montgomery County and Maryland has the highly educated well trained workforce it needs to be competitive in today's global economy.  Of particular importance is the expansion of healthcare, bioscience and engineering education programs at the undergraduate, graduate/professional levels to prepare for the workforce of tomorrow.
    • Universities at Shady Grove (USG) - Support accelerating the planning of the Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Facility at USG with $5 million in the FY’14 capital budget.  This project was supported last year by the delegation in which the general assembly pre-authorized the project for capital funds in FY’14 and is important to the growth of the county’s workforce.
    • Montgomery College - Support Montgomery College’s capital needs:
      • Construction funds for the renovation of Science West at the Rockville Campus.
      • Completion funds for the Bioscience Education Center at the Germantown Campus.
    • Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus/Washington Adventist University – Protect Sellinger funding, which Maryland’s independent institutions of higher education use primarily to provide financial aid to Maryland studen
       
    • Supporting our Veterans
    • Provide funding to expand programs that support veteran owned small businesses.

INFRASTRUCTURE SOLUTIONS

  • Invest in Transportation - Invest in a balanced transportation system in order to enhance Maryland's competitiveness, promote economic growth and maintain homeland security.
    • Adopt the tenets of the Maryland Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding including, but not limited to, a state-wide gas tax.
    • Protect funds in the Transportation Trust Fund – Ensure the integrity of the Transportation Trust fund by prohibiting transfers to the general fund, except in extreme emergencies.
    • Advocate for federal and state funding for the Purple Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway in order to promote economic activity, transit oriented development and congestion relief.
    • Advocate for I-270 widening (including HOT/HOV lane options) in order to support future growth in the State’s high technology corridor.
    • Explore new and innovative options for investing in transportation that place Montgomery County and Maryland at a comparative advantage.

WSSC

    • Work with WSSC in addressing critical capital needs that impact Montgomery County businesses and residents’ access to clean water and their quality of life.

Technology

    • Invest in initiatives that continue targeted expansion and enhanced access to broadband capabilities by consumers (personal and tele-work), businesses and government enterprises, which encourage additional private sector investment.

ENERGY

  • Ensure access to affordable, clean, renewable sources of energy through the expanded use of current technologies and the development of new technologies.
  • Allow for companies to continue to competitively purchase energy in order to achieve cost savings and reinvest those dollars into their companies.
  • Support investments in utility infrastructure to ensure safe and reliable transmission and distribution of electric power and natural gas for businesses and residents.
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