On April 9th at midnight, the 2018 Maryland General Assembly concluded its 90 day session. The General Assembly passed a $44.4 billion State operating budget.
Governor Hogan vetoed 2017 legislation which mandates paid sick leave for businesses with 15 or more employees and unpaid sick leave for businesses with fewer than 15 employees. The General Assembly overrode this veto and paid sick leave is now the law in Maryland. The Governor also vetoed legislation which takes school construction funding from the Maryland Board of Public Works which is comprised of the Governor, the Comptroller and the State Treasurer. The General Assembly also overrode this veto.
IEC CHESAPEAKE’S BILLS OF INTEREST
House Bill 1407 -Maryland Electricians Act-Revisions: Received an unfavorable report by the House Economic Matters Committee. House Bill 1407 would have created a statewide journeyman’s electrical license. Grant Shmelzer and Kevin O’Keeffe worked closely with the bill’s sponsor, Delegate Kevin Hornberger, and other stakeholders to try to reach consensus. They testified on the panel with the sponsor and met with the Members of the House Economic Matters Committee. Despite these efforts, the concerns of local governments and the lack of consensus about how to regulate low voltage professionals doomed the legislation.
House Bill 1486 -Public Safety-Solar Photovoltaic Systems –
Lockout Tag Requirement: This bill did not pass. House Bill 1486 as introduced would have required the installation of lockout tags at each residential installation of solar photovoltaic systems including retroactive installations of previously installed system. The House Economic Matters Committee amended the bill to make it prospective only. !EC Chesapeake testified against House Bill 1486 in both the House Economic
Matters Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. The basis of the testimony was that the proposed change is best left to the National Electrical Code process. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee did not take up the bill. Therefore, it failed.
House Bill 264 -Labor Unemployment -Labor Organizations -Right to Work: This bill received an unfavorable report by the House Economic Matters Committee. IEC Chesapeake provided a statement of support.
House Bill 1234 -Career Youth and Public Sector Apprenticeship Act: This bill passed both the House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. This bill requires that higher education institutions can only refer to a course as Apprenticeship Training only if the course is a registered Apprenticeship Training program. The legislation also requires state government agencies to increase salaries for state employees who participate in registered apprenticeship programs.
House Bill 1243 – Prevailing Wage Rates – Public Work Contracts – Suits by Employees: The bill passed both the House and the Senate. House Bill 1243 allows an employee under a Public Works contract to sue for a prevailing wage rate violation without first filing a complaint with the Commission of Labor and Industry. Skipping this step and filing suit could result in more prevailing wage violations cases. The penalty includes treble damages and payment of attorney’s fees.
Senate Bill 134 – Small Business Relief Tax Credit: This bill passed both the House and Senate. Senate Bill 134 creates a credit against the State Income Tax for a small business that employs 14 or fewer employees for $500 for each employee to offset benefits.