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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. 

Passion found:
Baltimore Robotics Center inspires the next generation
The battlefield is set. Area 53 and Destiny, two metallic, articulated robots, prepare to dual for the stars. Though this sounds like a scene from Real Steel, it was the setting of the 3rd annual statewide VEX Robotics Competition in downtown Baltimore.

This month the Maryland Chamber of Commerce takes a look at INNOVATION in various aspects of Maryland business.

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Statewide stories of substance
Energy and enthusiasm are watchwords for moving Maryland forward
Food and cocktails always help spur conversation.

At the Maryland Chamber of Commerce Legislative Reception Wednesday evening, there was plenty of all three.
Maryland businesses giving back
PEPCO supports innovations in sustainability
On a small patch of land beside PEPCO’s Rockville Service Center lives a home that is anything but ordinary.

Built around the University of Maryland’s Solar Decathalon WaterShed House, a student project that won the first prize award at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathalon in 2011, PEPCO’s WaterShed Sustainability Center continues to innovate on many levels.

He helped grow Sprinklr from a $20 million business with 30 employees to a $1.3 billion business with 900 employees in just three years. He’s big on early adoption. And more than one client has called him a “shot of marketing espresso.” Hear Jeremy Epstein explain how blockchains could revolutionize the way you—or your competitors—do business.  Time and location TBA – stay tuned!
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce is committed to to supporting our members and advancing the state as a nationally and globally competitive leader in economic growth and private sector job creation through effective advocacy, high-level networking and timely communication. If you are not a member, become one today:
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