Things are moving along in Annapolis as the annual legislative session reaches the final stretch. Here is an overview of some of the things I have been working on.
One bill I introduced this session is designed to improve the Homeowners Tax Credit program, an existing safety net program for homeowners. House Bill 633 clarifies the law so that seniors and people of moderate income who apply for multiple tax credits will not be penalized.
Another of my priority bills (HB 859) was designed to help our bricks and mortar retailers by greatly simplifying personal property tax forms and lowering state and local fees and taxes. A huge thanks to all the organizations and small business that voiced their support for this bill. Unfortunately due to the high cost of waiving the $300 annual report fee, the bill did not receive a favorable report. We will be back in Annapolis next year with a refined bill aimed at saving Maryland's small businesses time and money! Legislating is a negotiation process, and we made a lot of headway this session toward delivering this vital economic reform.
Several of the bills I introduced this year have passed the House of Delegates and await action in the Maryland Senate.
- The "Don't Block the Box" Bill (HB 237) would improve safety at congested intersections .
- Non-Compete Clause Bill (HB 506) would make these agreements unenforceable for entry level workers. The most memorable example of this abuse is that Jimmy John's sandwich shops was requiring minimum-wage workers to sign agreements like these.
- HB 355 prohibits WSSC, Maryland's largest water/sewer utility and its contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against a person based on gender identity, marital status, or religion.
- HB 351 gives Counties and Municipalities more time each year in which to adjust the homestead property tax credit - a cap that limits increases in property tax assessments.
- HB492 codifies and strengthens the practice of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration in allowing vehicle owners to designate a beneficiary.
On International Women's Day, I was proud to join my Maryland General Assembly colleagues and stand with Planned Parenthood. I am supporting bills introduced in the Maryland House and Senate that would allow the state of Maryland to provide funding for Planned Parenthood if the federal government de-funds the organization.
Larry Silverman, owner of S&A Beads, Cailey Locklair-Tolle, Executive Director of the Maryland Retailers Association & Del. Carr at the Hearing for HB859 - traders license reform