2019 Maryland General Assembly Update
February 1, 2019
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Welcome to your Garrett County Chamber's 2019 Legislative Update email. The following are bills that your Chamber is monitoring during the 2019 regular session of the Maryland General Assembly. These are bills that may impact your business or our community. If you have questions, concerns or comments about the bills, please contact Senator George Edwards or Delegate Wendell Beitzel. From time to time throughout the session, we may need you to contact your legislators about a specific bill. Your assistance will be enlisted under the "Calls to Action" section of this email.
This email will be sent on an as needed basis and you may opt-out by clicking the unsubscribe link below. Thank you for your consideration and please contact Nicole Christian if you have any questions.
Calls to Action
During the session we will alert you of critical legislation that is being heard by committees and ask you to testify in favor of or in opposition to the specified bill.
How to Testify: You can submit written testimony or attend the hearing in person to provide oral testimony. In either case, please email a written version of your testimony for Senate Bills to Senator George Edwards (
George.email@example.com) and House Bills to Wendell Beitzel (Wendell.firstname.lastname@example.org) and interns will deliver your testimony to the appropriate committee. Your written testimony must include the bill number, the committee name, your name & organization, and the date of the hearing. Your testimony must be sent to Senator Edwards and Delegate Beitzel by noon the day prior to the hearing and you must indicate if it is strictly written testimony or if you plan to provide oral testimony. The intern will sign you up if you plan to provide oral testimony.
OPPOSE the $15/Hr. Minimum Wage Bill
The MD Legislature is considering increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour, a 48.5% increase to the current rate of $10.10/hr. This could have devastating impacts on Western MD as was detailed in the
Minimum Wage Study
conducted by FSU. Your Chamber OPPOSES increasing the Maryland minimum wage.
We need your help to defeat this legislation.
is being heard by the Economic Matters Committee (
EM testimony guidelines
) on Friday, February 8 at 12:30 and
is being heard by the Finance Committee (
Finance testimony guidelines
) on February 21 at 1:00 p.m. Please plan to attend the hearing and testify against the bill or submit written testimony to show your opposition.
Maryland's minimum wage is currently 39% higher than the federal minimum wage rate and at least 15% higher than our neighboring states of Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania that all are at $8.75 or below. If the minimum wage is increased to $15 per hour, jobs will be lost, employee hours will be cut, benefits and raises will be reduced or eliminated, barriers to employment will be greater and Maryland will find itself at a regional disadvantage. In order to improve competitiveness and attract businesses, the cost of doing business in Maryland needs to be reasonable and remain on par with our neighboring states.
Schedule of minimum wage increases:
- July 1, 2019, $11.00 per hour
- July 1, 2020, $12.00 per hour
- July 1, 2021, $13.00 per hour
- July 1, 2022, $14.00 per hour
- July 1, 2023, $15.00 per hour
- Beginning July 1, 2024 will be indexed to inflation for that 12-month period and every year thereafter
Other changes to current law:
- Eliminates tip credit after 2026 (means tips will no longer count towards wages & tipped employees will be paid same minimum wage as everyone else)
- Eliminates training wage (6 months lower wage while in training)
- Eliminates lower wage for amusements not open year-round (i.e. Six Flags)
- Eliminates straight commission for non-outside sales
- Eliminates lower wage for employees engaged in canning, freezing, 2packing, or first processing of perishable or seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, or horticultural commodities, poultry, or seafood
- Changes to agriculture workers' wages and basically eliminates reduced wages for all those except hand-harvest laborers.
If you are planning to testify in person, please contact Nicole Christian, email@example.com, by February 6. Written testimony for HB 166 should be submitted to Carter in Del. Wendell Beitzel's office, Wendell.firstname.lastname@example.org by February 6. Written testimony for SB 280 should be submitted to Victoria in Sen. George Edwards office, email@example.com, by February 18. When submitting written testimony, include specifics in how this legislation will impact your business. You must follow the required committee guidelines and please, respectfully request Carter or Victoria to submit your testimony to the committee for the hearing being held on February 8 at 12:30. For more assistance, please see the Opposition Advocacy Kit prepared by the MD Chamber of Commerce. Questions should also be directed to Nicole.
Support Additional Funding for State Lakes Protection & Restoration Fund
During the 2018 session of the General Assembly, the Legislature approved the annual allocation of $1 million to the State Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund for the next three years. This amount is grossly inadequate for the State to uphold its responsibilities to all 16 lakes which it owns, including Deep Creek Lake.
increase the amount of funding to $3 million an repeal the sunset provision so that the SLPRF will be funded in perpetuity. Your Chamber SUPPORTS this legislation.
Deep Creek Lake is an economic engine for Garrett County, helping to generate an economic impact of $347 million annually. The property tax revenue from the Deep Creek Lake watershed accounts for nearly 60% of County revenue. It is imperative that the State, as the owner of Deep Creek Lake, make every effort to maintain it as a premier natural recreational and economic resource for property owners and visitors. Deep Creek Lake is now 94 years old and as happens with any man-made lake, it is experiencing issues with aquatic invasive species (AIS), sediment accumulation, shoreline erosion and threats to water quality and conditions. Besides Deep Creek Lake, the State is the owner of 15 other lakes, and must allocate adequate funding for protection programs, restoration and remediation projects to sustain these important natural resources for future generations. As an example, it costs DNR $215,000 annually for treatment of hydrilla just in Deep Creek Lake. The current $1 million in annual funding is not nearly enough to provide the necessary services and support for these lakes. And under current law, funding ends in 2022, even though the State's ownership does not end. The State must uphold its responsibilities.
Preserve Post Labor Day School Start
Your help is needed to preserve the Post Labor Day start and June 15 end for public schools in Maryland as required by the Governor's Executive Order (EO) in August 2016.
allows for schools to extend past the June 15 date for ANY reason and without ANY type of approval from the State. It is the first cut to the Governor's EO and there is no good argument for why this is needed.
completely repeals the post Labor Day school start Executive Order.
are being heard by the Ways & Means (
W&M testimony guidelines
) on February 14 at 1:00 p.m. If you are able to attend the hearing and testify to oppose
, that would be extremely helpful. If you are unable to attend in person, please email written testimony to Carter in Delegate Beitzel's office and request his assistance in submitting your testimony to the Committee. Send your email to
office by February 12 so he can make copies and deliver them to the committee.
Click here for a copy of the
The main points to cover in your testimony are:
- The move to a post Labor Day start hasn't negatively impacted the students
- Boards of Education still have control of their calendars and remain autonomous
- It's been a good thing for families who spent additional time together vacationing which we can prove by the increases in tourism that we've seen the past two years
- It's been good for the Garrett County and Maryland economies
- Supported by more than 70% of Marylanders
The Committee must hear from you in order to preserve a post Labor Day school start in Maryland.
Bills and Hearings
Hearing: HB 38 Economic Matters, January 24, 2019 at 1:00 pm. SB 328 Finance, February 21, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Opposes.
Hearing: HB 56 Economic Matters, January 24, 2019 at 1:00 pm. SB 38 Finance, January 31, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
House Bill 126 - Labor and Employment - Labor Organizations - Right to Work
Hearing: HB 126 Economic Matters, February 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Supports.
HB 134 Economic Matters.
Hearing: HB 141 Economic Matter, February 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
HB 150 First Reading Ways and Means. SB 174 Budget and Taxation, February 27, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Supports.
Hearing: HB 157 Health and Government Operations, February 5, 2019 at 1:00 pm. SB 173 Education, Health and Environmental Affairs, February 7, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
Hearing: HB 166 Economic Matters, February 8, 2019 at 1:00 pm. SB 280 Finance, February 21, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Opposes.
House Bill 284 - Procurement - Small Business and Minority Businesses - Qualification and Certification (Small and Minority Business Certification Streamlining Act of 2019)
Hearing: HB 284 Health and Government Operations, February 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
House Bill 285 - Hotel Rental Tax - Limitation of Municipal Authority to Tax Small Hotels - Repeal
Hearing: HB 285 Ways and Means, February 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
Hearing: HB 375 Ways and Means, February 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm.
House Bill 406 - Wetlands and Waterways Program - State-Owned Lands - Structural Shoreline Stabilization
Hearing: HB 406 Environment and Transportation, February 20, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Supports.
House Bill 437 - County Boards of Education - School Year - Start and End Dates
Hearing: HB 437 Ways and Means, February 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Opposes.
First Reading Ways and Means.
Senate Bill 34 - Tourist Area and Corridor Program and Task Force on Attraction Signs
Hearing: SB 34 Finance, February 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
Hearing: SB 37 Budget and Taxation, January 30, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
Senate Bill 51 - Maryland Heritage Areas Authority - Target Investment Zones - Repeal
Hearing: SB 51 Finance, February 5, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Supports.
Hearing: SB 76 Budget and Taxation, January 30, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Opposes.
Senate Bill 128 - County Boards of Education - School Year - Start and End Dates
Hearing: SB 128 Education, Health and Environmental Affairs, January 30, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Opposes.
Hearings: SB 131 Education, Health and Environmental Affairs, January 30, 2019 at 1:00 pm. HB 53 Ways and Means, February 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Opposes.
Senate Bill 183 - Recycling - Lodging Establishments - Notification to Guests
Hearing: SB 183 Education, Health and Environmental Affairs, February 5, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
Hearing: SB 190 Budget and Taxation, February 5, 2019 at 2:30 pm.
Senate Bill 213 and House Bill 405 - Natural Resources - State Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund - Mandatory Funding and Repeal of Termination Date
Hearings: SB 213 Education, Health and Environmental Affairs, February 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm. HB 405 Environment and Transportation, February 20, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Chamber Supports.
Hearings: SB 216 Budget and Taxation, February 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm. HB 244 Ways and Means, February 5, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
Senate Bill 330 - Public Buildings and Places of Public Accommodation - Diaper-Changing Facilities
Hearing: SB 330 Judicial Proceedings, February 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
SB 377 First Reading Budget and Taxation. Chamber Opposes.
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