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FROM THE

halls 


End in sight

With only a week left in the 2017 legislative session, we’re coming down to the home stretch. But there’s still much to be done before the stroke of midnight on Sine Die. 

Our members received a special email late last week about mandatory paid leave. Last night, despite the business community’s best efforts, the Senate voted to send its amended version back to the House for final approval before it goes to Gov. Larry Hogan. The governor has promised a veto. Right now, there are enough votes to override a veto before session ends, letting the bill become law on Jan. 1, 2018.  Take a look at our website to find out what the bill means for you.

We insisted that this was a job-killing bill that would leave both employers and employees hurting.

That was the only reason the bill’s sponsors budged at all on the number of hours accrued, number of hours required to qualify, and number of days of work required to qualify for leave. If you didn’t add your voice this time, please seriously considering doing so next time there’s a bill that matters to you.
 
There have been greater successes: Sponsoring legislators withdrew HB 215, which would have levied more county property taxes on a few industries including communications providers, railroads and utility companies. HB 876/SB 918 would have raised the already high cost of health care by requiring coverage of a specific type of infertility treatment; the House bill got an unfavorable vote and the Senate bill was withdrawn. The same happened for HB 1332/SB 697, which would have expanded the time to file a property and casualty insurance claim, the cost of which would have been passed on to insured customers.
 
Two other Senate bills were withdrawn after unfavorable reports in the Judicial Proceedings Committee: SB 225 would have tripled the limits on pain and suffering liabilities for a new and medically undefined “catastrophic” injury, and a plaintiff would have been able to ask a court to reclassify an injury as “catastrophic” in order to sue for higher damages. Similarly, SB 1058 would have reduced the burden of proof on a drunk driving injury from “actual malice” to “clear and convincing,” effectively increasing the likelihood of liability for an employer if an employee was under the influence while on duty.
 
This final week of session, the MDCC Government Affairs team will testify on HB 381, which would require trains to stop at the state line to pick up a second crew member, and stop again to drop them off on their way out of the state. We’ll also keep up the pressure on HB 1143, an administrative mandate bill requiring multiple disclosures on pay stubs. This bill has been modified several times already due to opponents’ efforts. And we’ll keep working for you on tax credits for bio-tech, military retirement, education, and research & development, as well as transportation, environment, employment and civil liability issues. 

You are a valued partner and resource for us and the entire Maryland business communityContact us if you want us to tell your story in the halls.
 
If you’re a Chamber member, log on to mdchamber.org to learn more about our positions and testimony on the bills mentioned here and more than 100 others.
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce is the leading voice for business in Maryland, representing more than 400,000 Marylanders through our member-companies, institutions and organizations. The Maryland Chamber's mission is to support business and advance the State of Maryland as a national and global competitive leader in economic growth and private sector job creation through effective advocacy, high-level networking and timely and relevant communication.
 Become a member of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce today: 
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Copyright © 2017 Maryland Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.


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