CDN Members and Friends!

The 2019 Maryland General Assembly ended April 8, with a lot of accomplishments and surprises.

Below is the list of CDN's proposed legislation and what happened to it.

While we were not successful in passing the Community Development Fund funding source, several other of our initiatives passed which will help people and communities across the state.

A big THANK YOU goes out to the sponsors of our legislation, and to you for your letters, calls and emails to your legislators.

We want to extend our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Speaker Michael Busch who passed away on April 7. He was a champion of community development and he will be greatly missed.


CDN is a statewide 501c3 network made up of over 180 member organizations across the state. CDN is the voice for Maryland’s community development industry, particularly the critically important nonprofit, small developer and community-based organization members of that industry.

Our purpose is to strengthen, promote and advocate for Maryland’s community development industry who serve rural, urban and suburban communities.
Results of our 2019 Priority Legislation
HB1287/SB632 - Community Development Fund : Creates a funding source for the Community Development Fund which was passed in 2018. The legislation asks for the excess from the Unclaimed Property Fund. Sponsors: Senator Eckardt, Delegate Lafferty. This legislation passed the House of Delegates but was not brought up for a vote in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

SB509/ HB557 - Judicial In Rem process . This legislation enables jurisdictions to use a different system for addressing tax sale properties that are vacant and abandoned. It eliminates the tax sale certificate process in these cases.  Sponsors: Senator Eckardt, Delegate Holmes SB509 was amended to say that this system applies to properties which have liens greater than the value of the property. It was passed by both chambers and is headed for the Governor's desk!

HB1209 - Homeowner Protections and tax sale . This legislation came to us from Chairwoman Kaiser whose initiative we really appreciated! The legislation creates an Ombudsman in the State Dept of Assessment and Taxation to help homeowners navigate the tax sale system, and adds additional protections for homeowners, particularly those who are elderly, disabled and low income. The original bill eliminated tax sale for low income homeowners. Sponsor: Chairwoman Kaiser. The final bill was amended to put tax sale back in, but kept all the protections. This bill passed both chambers and is headed for the Governor's desk!

HB1305/SB261 - Estates- Waiver of fees. This legislation came to us from Senator Ferguson. It requires that Registers of Wills waive their fees to open estates in cases of tax sale and if the person is represented by a legal services partner. This strengthens one of our bills from last year. Sponsors: Senator Ferguson, Delegate Ivey This bill passed both chambers and is headed for the Governor's Desk!

SB633 /HB pending - Mortgage Lenders, servicers and originators: Ensure that the standards in the federal HAMP program that no longer exists are in Maryland regulation. This includes strengthening the “duty of care” provisions and that if a modification is denied there are viable explanations and ability for appeal. Sponsors: Senator Eckardt, This bill was withdrawn because the Commissioner of Financial Regulation has issued new regulations and they seem to address some of our concerns .

SB812/ HB451 - Fair Housing Opportunities Act:  This legislation ends discrimination based on source of income in Maryland. Sponsors: Senator Smith, Delegate Lafferty This bill was withdrawn

HB1045 /SB917 - Comprehensive Plans: Requires that Comprehensive Plans include an affordable housing element. Sponsors: Senator Lam, Delegate Lierman. This bill passed both chambers and is headed for the Governor's desk!

SB581 / HB1260 - Transparency in Reporting Opportunity Zones : This legislation would require that projects in Opportunity Zones that also receive state tax credits, financing or funding report the following: the full financing and who the investors are, the number of jobs created, and economic impact. Sponsors: Senator Ferguson, Delegate Lierman SB581 was heavily amended to add the Governor's Opportunity Zone bill, our Rural bill below, and several others. It passed both chambers and is headed for the Governor's desk!

SB75 6 - Investment in Rural Opportunity Zones: This legislation would require that the Maryland DHCD create 2 Opportunity Funds, one to ensure investment in Western MD, and one to ensure investment in Southern MD/Eastern Shore. They would work to steer investment into the Opportunity Zones in the area. The fear is that investors will only invest in urban and suburban areas of the state. Sponsor: Senator Hester This bill was combined into SB581 described above.

SB721 / HB737 Common Ownership Communities Registry : This legislation creates a registry that is run by DLLR where common ownership communities must register. There is no solid number right now about how many common ownership communities there are. Senator Benson, Delegate Holmes This legislation, along with a lot of other real property legislation, was sent to summer study.

SB507 / HB886 Angel Investor Tax Credit : This legislation would create tax credits for more investment in entrepreneurial enterprises. Sponsors: Senator Eckardt, Delegate Palakovich Carr This legislation did not advance this year.

Increase Community Legacy to $8 million! The Governor’s Budget provided for increases to almost every community development funding source, except Community Legacy, which was cut by $2 million. It is important to get the word out to increase funding. Community Legacy did not get increased this year, but a number of other funds did, and so a net gain of funding for community development.
Other Legislation CDN Supports

SB3/ HB117 - Smart Growth Investment Fund: This legislation funds the Smart Growth Investment Fund at $7 million. This fund has not received funding in the past. Sponsors: Senator Rosapepe, Delegate Lafferty The senate version passed the Senate, but did not advance in the House.

Broadband Expansion: CDN supports expansion of broadband so that residents are connected and able to use the internet. Several bills will be out to support this effort, led by the Rural Maryland Council. There is new increased funding for this effort and several bills passed.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support! We will be planning our Regional Meetings to report out our successes, and build our agenda for next year.

As always, you are welcome to join our Policy Committee to help develop our legislative agenda and work throughout the General Assembly. Please let me know if you are interested!

Odette Ramos
Executive Director