Just three weeks into session, mandatory paid leave is one of the biggest discussions Annapolis. The Senate cross-filing (SB0230) is scheduled for hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. The House version (HB0001) is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 10 at 12:30 p.m. in the House Economic Matters Committee. Both hearings are open to the public.
In response to shared concerns about the health of the business community, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce has joined with the Associated Builders and Contractors; Maryland Motor Truck Association; Maryland Retailers Association; Maryland Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Distributors Association; National Federation of Independent Businesses; Restaurant Association of Maryland; and WMDA Service Station and Automotive Repair Association to form the Maryland Business Coalition.
Already, we have met with lawmakers on both sides of the mandatory paid leave issue, and will seek support from our respective memberships, local Chambers of Commerce, and various business stakeholders. Last Monday, we held a press conference to share our concerns about mandatory paid leave with reporters and the public. Joining us were Erin Allen from ConTemporaries, Inc., a small, family-owned business in Montgomery County; George Koste from Maryland Capital Enterprises, a nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs start or expand their businesses; and Jorge Eduardo Castillo, the founder of iOnward! Estrategias and chair of the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. All three shared their concerns about the effect HB0001/SB0230 can have on businesses, including extensive administrative burdens and cost liabilities that could cripple small businesses.
In addition, we have testified on behalf of our members on two civil action bills. SB0055, if passed, would provide immunity for an employer whose employee, under certain conditions, commits a crime while working and has a prior probation before judgment or conviction on his or her record. The bill specifically provides immunity against claims of negligent hiring or adequate supervision.
SB0144, if passed, would essentially allow businesses to be asked how much insurance they carry prior to a lawsuit being filed. This essentially means litigants could automatically ask for the maximum amount allowed in any circumstance.
We’re early in this year’s legislative process, and already there are nearly 1,000 individual bills and two joint resolutions up for consideration—many of them assigned to committees and scheduled for hearings. Our issues and legislative committees, along with our Government Affairs team, have reviewed and considered dozens pertaining to our members’ interests.
View our Member Only content for exclusive member access and bill updates.