Recap: Legislative Affairs Member Meeting - Legislative Session Updates - March 31, 2014

Posted Date: 
March 31, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014 Recap

Guest Speakers: John Stierhoff, Partner, Venable LLP; Marta Harting, Partner, Venable LLP; and Brian Quinn, Counsel, Venable LLP

Ilaya Hopkins, Vice President, Public Affairs, MCCC welcomed members and introduced our guest speakers. They provided MCCC members with updates from the 2014 General Assembly Legislative Session. With one week remaining in the session, which concludes on Monday, April 7, the following is an overview of bills the Chamber is following closely. For full descriptions of these bills, visit http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/

Funding for Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP): Governor O’Malley’s proposed FY15 budget included $150,000 in funding for MCCCF’s VIP program. The Senate kept the funding in their approved budget. The House recommended removing the funding. The budget will be determined in Conference Committee within a week.

Small Business Reserve Program: SB975/HB487 - The passage of this bill eliminated the sunset provision of the definition of a “small business” by either number of employees or revenue. MCCC testified in support of this bill.

The Maryland Estate Tax – Unified Credit: HB739/SB602 – This bill passed the House and Senate. This bill recouples the Maryland Estate Tax with the Federal Estate Tax. The bill is currently awaiting approval from Governor O’Malley. MCCC testified in support.

Corporate Income Tax and S Corp Pass Through: Although several Corporate Income Tax reductions and modifications to pass through entities were proposed, none of the bills passed this year.
Combined Reporting: SB395/HB1298 - Combined Reporting bills did not pass for the 4th consecutive year.

Commission on Tax Policy, Reform, and Fairness: HB554/SB423 – This commission was proposed in 2013 and again this year to study and make recommendations regarding Maryland tax policies. This bill did not pass this session. MCCC supports this legislation and hopes to see it reintroduced next year.

Private Sector Commission: As a part of Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch’s joint legislative agenda for business and economic development, this commission will focus on economic development structure and incentive programs.

Minimum Wage: This bill proposes a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, to be gradually phased in over 5 years. The House passed the bill and it currently sits in the Senate Committee. This is a priority of Governor O’Malley.

Prevailing Wage: SB232/HB727 – The bill passed and requires that local governments pay the prevailing wage if the state has contributed 25 percent of funding or more to a capital project, typically a school construction project.

Other issues were discussed including a number of Public Service Commission issues, the Health Exchange and School Construction funding.

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