MDDCCUAlogo
MD|DC LEGISLATIVE UPDATE February 6, 2018
In This Issue
Quick Links
Association Hosts Roundtable with Commissioner Salazar
Greetings,

More than 2,050 bills have been filed in Maryland. The MD|DC Credit Union Association's Advocacy Team is closely monitoring more than 190 bills that have the potential to impact credit unions. Several of those bills are highlighted below. We continue to work with legislators on a consumer data breach protection bill to increase accountability.

Here's the Maryland and DC political roundup:
  • Gov. Larry Hogan remains the second most popular governor in America according to the latest ranking by Morning Consult pollingHogan had 66% approval, 18% disapproval and 17% had no opinion or didn't know.
  • Attorney General Brian Frosh plans to file a lawsuit challenging the legality of part of the new federal tax plan that disproportionately hurts high tax states like Maryland. 
  • U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings has filed for reelection. He has been dealing with several health issues recently. The 12-term Congressman represents Maryland's 7th Congressional District. 
  • In the District, Ed Lazere, executive director of a DC think tank who announced he would challenge Phil Mendelson for D.C. Council chair a few weeks ago, has raised $64.7K to Mendelson's $58K.
In the District, the government has launched a public awareness campaign to increase compliance with its commuter benefits law that took effect in 2016. See the article below to find out what your credit union needs to do to comply with the law.


We hope you find this information useful!

John Bratsakis
President/CEO
 
District of Columbia Legislative Update

Commuter Benefits Law
The District government has launched a public awareness campaign about its Commuter Benefits law that took effect in 2016. Here's what your credit union needs to know: D.C. businesses with 20 or more employees must offer at least one of the following commuter benefit options to all full-time and part-time employees performing 50 percent of their work in the District:
  • Option 1: Employee paid, pre-tax benefit
  • Option 2: Employer paid, direct benefit up to $260/month. (This can be merged with the first option, employer and employee can contribute)
  • Option 3: Employer provided transportation (van pool or shuttle service)
Enrollment for commuter benefits must be open and available to covered employees throughout the year. Employers need to notify employees of the benefit, and provide information to covered employees about how to apply for and receive the benefit.
Due to a change in the federal tax code, commuter benefits are no longer tax deductible for companies, however, there are tax savings on FICA payroll taxes. See details in the SmartBenefitsĀ® program at www.wmata.com/smartbenefits .  

For more information about covered employers and employees, please contact the Department of Employment Services, Office of Wage-Hour at does.dc.gov, 202-671-1880 or OWH.ask@dc.gov.
DC Council Considers Proposal to Break Up the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
District Council Chair Phil Mendelson has introduced a bill to divide the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs into two agencies; one with responsibility for building codes and inspections and the other for licensing and consumer protection. Mendelson says the agency is too large and mismanaged to operate effectively.  If approved, the legislation would take effect in 2019.
Maryland General Assembly Update

Implementation of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act

Bill to delay implementation
Emergency legislation to delay implementation of Maryland's paid leave law until July 1, 2018, is moving in the Maryland Senate. On Friday, the measure passed the Senate Finance Committee and will next be considered by the full Senate. After that, it would go to the House of Delegates for consideration. If the bill (SB 304) should pass before February 11, 2018, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) will notify employers. However, in the event implementation is not delayed, employers should be prepared to begin tracking sick and safe leave accrual on February 11, 2018.
 
Assistance for employers
To assist employers with compliance, DLLR is developing draft guidance documents and model policies based on questions received through small.business@maryland.gov. These documents will be emailed to stakeholders and published to DLLR's paid leave website at www.dllr.maryland.gov/paidleave.

HB0266 - Condominiums - Lien Priority - Unpaid Water and Sewer Charges
Providing that, in the case of a foreclosure of a mortgage or deed of trust on a condominium unit, a certain portion of the condominium's liens on the unit has priority over the claim of a holder of a first mortgage or first deed of trust under certain circumstances; providing that the portion of a condominium's liens that has a certain priority shall consist solely of certain unpaid water and sewer charges not exceeding a certain amount under certain circumstances; and providing for the prospective application of the Act.
Position: Oppose now adding that any unpaid water or sewer charges have priority over a mortgage or deed of trust. The Association testified in-person in opposition on February 6.
SB0216 - Condominiums and Homeowners Associations - Priority of Liens - Included Charges 
Authorizing certain interest, costs, charges, fines, fees, and special assessments to be included in the portion of a condominium's or homeowners association's lien that is given priority over a claim of the holder of a certain first mortgage or first deed of trust. 
Position: Oppose the bill that would widen the priority of liens law for Homeowners and Condominium Owners Associations. Association testified in-person on Jan. 31 in opposition to this change as current law exists for the collection of unpaid fees.