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Register for 2018 Maryland Legislative Reception

The MD|DC Credit Union Association's top priority is effectively advocating for legislation and regulations that are in the best interest of our member credit unions. To keep you well-informed and updated on legislation under consideration that could potentially affect credit unions, we will be providing our weekly legislative overview of the latest developments in the Maryland General Assembly and the D.C. Council.

Maryland lawmakers headed back to Annapolis last Wednesday. Expect a flurry of activity this session as all 188 legislative seats are up for re-election, and Larry Hogan tries to become the first Republican governor re-elected in Maryland since 1954.

In the wake of several high profile data breaches impacting millions of consumers and credit unions, the MD|DC Credit Union Association is working with Maryland lawmakers on a bill to protect consumers against data breaches and support merchant responsibility. The key components of the bill will focus on accountability, financial liability and notification consistent with national standards that financial institutions are required to follow as outlined in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Employment issues dominate the legislative agenda in both Maryland and the District. A brief rundown of what to expect is below.  We are closely monitoring dozens of bills with the potential to impact credit unions. Please find links to the Maryland bills we are tracking, as well as links to the General Assembly and D.C. Council websites in the left column under "Quick Links."  We hope you find this information helpful.

I would also like to remind you to please register for the 2018 Maryland Legislative Reception on Tuesday, February 6 in Annapolis. It is an opportunity to connect directly with lawmakers and educate them on the issues impacting consumers and credit unions. Lawmakers in attendance typically seek out credit unions serving their communities, so it is important that credit unions are well-represented.

This year, we are pleased to announce some special guests to help kick-off the reception: Senate Finance Committee Chair Senator Thomas "Mac" Middleton, House Economic Matters Committee Chair Delegate Derek Davis, and Maryland Commissioner on Financial Regulation Antonio "Tony" Salazar have been invited to deliver remarks.

We look forward to working together in 2018!

John Bratsakis
District of Columbia Legislative Update

Universal Paid Leave Act
The D.C. Council is considering five bills that would modify the Universal Paid Leave Act passed a year ago. Under the program, individuals employed in the District would be eligible for up to eight weeks of paid parental leave, six weeks of family leave and two weeks of medical leave, all financed by a 0.62 percent payroll tax paid by employers. The proposed bills keep the essential benefits, while easing the tax burden on businesses and avoiding the creation of a large new District bureaucracy to oversee the benefits. The Council has not indicated when action will be taken on the proposed bills.

Salary History Ban
A bill under consideration would bar District employers from asking about salary history before making a job offer. The bill is aimed at eliminating differences in pay between men and women. The bill is similar to legislation enacted in other jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, which became the first state to prohibit employers from requiring a job candidate's salary history. New York City's Mayor signed an executive order making it illegal for city agencies to require salary history in hiring.
Maryland General Assembly Update

Veto Override-Maryland Healthy Working Families Act
The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act is scheduled to take effect February 11, 2018, following the General Assembly's override of Governor Hogan's veto of the paid sick leave bill.  In response, Governor Hogan signed an Executive Order creating a state office to assist small businesses with implementation of the law. Under the measure, businesses with more than 15 employees must provide up to five days of paid sick leave. Senator Middleton has indicated that he is looking at delaying implementation of the law for 90 days. We will keep you updated on any developments.

Tax Credits - Paid Leave
Governor Hogan has introduced a bill to provide tax credits for businesses with fewer than 50 employees that provide paid leave benefits.

Minimum Wage Increase
Senator Madaleno and Delegate Hettleman plan to introduce a bill to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023. Maryland's minimum wage is set to increase from $9.25 to $10.10 an hour on July 1, 2018.

Term Limits
Governor Hogan has proposed restricting lawmakers to two consecutive four year terms. The measure would be subject to a voter referendum, but would not force any current long-serving lawmakers out of office.