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THE BIPARTISANSHIP ALERT: Lawmakers Approve Important Legislation In Governor Hogan’s Robust, Bipartisan 2017 Legislative Agenda

2017 Session Ends With Governor Hogan’s Top Priorities Receiving Final Passage,  Legislation to Improve Lives of All Marylanders

“It was an incredibly successful session for the people of Maryland. Almost our entire package was enacted. Tonight we were very excited to see our jobs bill pass, which was one of our most important priorities, we also got our ethics bill passed, we got our roads bill passed.” – Governor Larry Hogan, April 11, 2017

More Jobs For Marylanders Act

  • The More Jobs For Marylanders Act Of 2017 Provides Tax Credits For Specified Business Entities That Locate Their Businesses In Qualified Target Areas Across The State; Eligible Existing Business Entities In These Target Areas Are Eligible For Tax Credits For New Jobs They Create. “An existing business entity may apply to be certified as a qualified business entity if the existing business entity increases the number of qualified positions as required under subsection (a) of this subsection for an eligible project in a Tier I or Tier II county… Subject to subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Department may issue a tax credit certificate to a qualified business entity in an amount not to exceed the amount determined under section (b) (2) of this section. In determining the allocation of the aggregate tax credit amounts available in a fiscal year as provided under subsection (d) of this section, the Department shall give priority to applications for eligible projects in a Tier 1 county, as defined under §6-801 of the Economic Development Article.” (“Senate Bill 317,” Maryland General Assembly, 4/10/17)

Public Integrity Act Of 2017

  • The Public Integrity Act Of 2017 Includes Provisions To Bar Members Of The General Assembly And State Officials From Lobbying For One Year After Leaving State Service And Prohibits Legislators From Participating In Legislative Action For Which They Have A Conflict Of Interest. “…A former member of the General Assembly may not assist or represent another party for compensation in a matter that is the subject of legislative action for 1 calendar year after the member leaves office; and a former Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, or State Treasurer may not assist or represent another party for compensation in a matter that is the subject of legislative action for 1 calendar year after the official leaves State office… An interest of a member of the General Assembly conflicts with the public interest if the legislator’s interest tends to impair the legislator’s independence of judgement. The conflict disqualifies the legislator from participating in any legislative action, or otherwise attempting to influence any legislation, to which the conflict relates.” (“House Bill 879,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/20/17)

Road Kill Bill Repeal

  • Road Kill Bill Repeal Allows For The Construction Of 73 Top Priority Transportation Projects Across The State; Legislation Establishes A Two Year Workgroup To Study Feasibility Of A Transportation Scoring System In Maryland. “There is a Workgroup on the Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act… The Workgroup shall: evaluate the model required under § 2-103.7(b) of the Transportation Article, as enacted by this Act; evaluate how prioritizing major transportation projects with higher scores for inclusion in the Consolidated Transportation Program over major transportation projects with lower scores applies to the Consolidated Transportation Program in fiscal years 2019 and 2020; evaluate the prioritization process in Virginia and North Carolina and the applicability of these processes in Maryland; evaluate regional prioritization processes and the applicability of these processes in Maryland; and make recommendations regarding whether modifications or changes to § 2-103.7 of the Transportation Article should be made… On or before January 1, 2019, the Workgroup shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and, in accordance with § 2-1246 of the State Government Article and the General Assembly.” (“Senate Bill 307,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/15/17)

Distribution Of Controlled Dangerous Substances – Fentanyl

  • Legislation Subjects Individuals To A Felony Charge And Up To 10 Years In Prison If Convicted Of Distributing Or Dispensing Fentanyl. “Except as otherwise provided in this article, a person may not: distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance; or possess a controlled dangerous substance in sufficient quantity reasonably to indicate under all circumstances an intent to distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance… A person may not knowingly violate § 5-602 of this subtitle with: a mixture that contains heroin and a detectable amount of fentanyl or any analogue of fentanyl; or fentanyl or any analogue of fentanyl. A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony and, in addition to any other penalty imposed for a violation of § 5-602 of this subtitle, on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years. A sentence imposed under this section shall be consecutive to and not concurrent with any other sentence imposed under any other provision of law.” (“Senate Bill 539,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/14/17)

The Prescriber Limits Act Of 2017

  • The Prescriber Limits Act Of 2017 Limits The Amount Of Opioids A Health Care Provider Can Prescribe To Patients. “On treatment  for pain, a health care provider, based on the clinical judgement of the health care provider, shall prescribe: The lowest effective dose of an opioid ; and A quantity that is no greater than the quantity needed for the expected duration of pain severe enough to require an opioid that is a controlled dangerous substance unless the opioid is prescribed to treat: A substance-related disorder; Pain associated with a cancer diagnosis; Pain experienced while the patient is receiving end-of-life, hospice, or palliative care services; or chronic pain. The dosage, quantity, and duration of an opioid prescribed under subsection (b) of this section shall be based on an evidence-based clinical guideline for prescribing controlled dangerous substances that is appropriate for: The health care service delivery setting for the patient; The type of health care services required by the patient; and The age and health status of the patient. A violation of subsection (b) of this section is grounds for disciplinary action by the health occupations board that regulates the health care provider who commits the violation.” (“House Bill 1432,”Maryland General Assembly, 3/27/17)

Overdose Prevention Act

  • The HOPE Act Includes A Provision From The Overdose Prevention Act To Establish A Standing Order Allowing Licensed Health Care Providers To Prescribe And Dispense Naloxone; Provision From The Overdose Prevention Act To Allow Local Fatality Review Teams To Review Nonfatal Data Is Also Included In The HOPE Act. “A licensed health care provider with prescribing authority may prescribe and dispense naloxone by issuing a standing order if the licensed health care provider: Is employed by the Department or a local health department; or Has a written agreement with an authorized private or public entity under  § 13–3104 of this subtitle…To achieve its purpose, each local team shall: In consultation with the Department, establish and implement a protocol for the local team; Set as its goal the investigation of drug overdose deaths in accordance with national standards; Meet at least quarterly to review the status of drug overdose death cases and information on nonfatal overdoses, recommend actions to improve coordination of services and investigations among member agencies, and recommend actions within the member agencies to prevent drug overdose deaths; Collect and maintain data as required by the Department; and Provide requested reports to the Department, including: Discussion of individual cases; Steps taken to improve coordination of services and investigations; Steps taken to implement changes recommended by the local team within member agencies; and Recommendations on needed changes to State and local laws, policies, or practices to prevent drug overdose deaths.” (“Senate Bill 967,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/23/17; “House Bill 1329,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/27/17)

Protecting Victims Of Sex Trafficking Act Of 2017

  • The Protecting Victims Of Sex Trafficking Act Further Defines The Definition Of Sexual Abuse Relating To Child Abuse To Include The Sex Trafficking Of A Child. “‘Sex trafficking’ means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a child for the purpose of a commercial sex act. ‘ Sexual abuse’ means any act that involves: sexual molestation or exploitation of a child by a parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of a child, or by any household or family member; or sextrafficking of a child.” (“Senate Bill 308,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/1/20/17)

EARN Maryland Program

  • Governor Hogan Doubled Maryland’s Investment In The Nationally Recognized EARN Maryland Program From $4 Million To $8 Million. $3 million of the newly invested funds will be used to increase cybersecurity and information technology training partnerships; $1 million of the newly invested funds will focus on workforce training partnerships for Tier One green industries. (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)

Fiscal Responsibility Act Of 2017

  • Legislation Sponsored By Delegate McIntosh Included Provisions From Governor Hogan’s Fiscal Responsibility Act Of 2017 Placing A Cap On The Estimate Of Non-Withholding Revenues Assumed In The Budget Process; This Cap Is Designed To Reduce Revenue Volatility By Ending The Practice Of Using Temporary Revenue SPikes To Fund Known Recurring Future Expenses. “Subject to subparagraph (II) of this paragraph, for each fiscal year, if the bureau’s estimate of the share of general fund revenues from nonwithholding income tax revenues is above the 10–year average share, the bureau shall adjust the revenue estimate by reducing general fund revenues from nonwithholding income tax revenues by an amount sufficient to align the estimated share of general fund revenues from nonwithholding income tax revenues with the 10–year average share of general fund revenues from nonwithholding income taxes. The adjustment made under subparagraph (I) of this paragraph may not exceed 2% of total general fund revenues.” (“House Bill 503,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/31/17)

Hometown Heroes Act

  • Hometown Heroes Legislation Sponsored By Delegate Hixson Was Adopted By Both Chambers Of The General Assembly, Will Provide Tax Relief To First Responders And Emergency Response Personnel; The First $15,000 Of Retirement Income For First Responders And Emergency Personnel At Least 55 Years Old Will Not Be Subject To State Tax. “In the case of a retired law enforcement officer or fire, rescue, or emergency services personnel of the united States, the State or a political subdivision of the State, the amount included under subsection (b) (1) of this section is limited to the first $15,000 of retirement income attributable to the resident’s employment as a law enforcement officer or fire, rescue, or emergency services personnel of the united States, the State, or a political subdivision of the State: unless the resident is at least 65 years old or is totally disabled; or the resident’s spouse is totally disabled.” (“House Bill 100,” Maryland General Assembly, 2/21/17)

Taxpayer Protection Act

  • The Taxpayer Protection Act Will Provide Greater Protections To Marylanders From Tax Fraud And Identity Theft; Legislation Strengthens The Ability Of The Office Of The Comptroller To Protect Taxpayers And Hold Fraudulent Tax Filers And Preparers Accountable. “If with the intent to evade the payment of tax, a person, including an officer of a corporation, or a governmental unit makes a false tax return, the tax collector shall assess a penalty not exceeding 100% of the tax due. If, with the intent to evade the payment of a tax, a person hired to prepare a tax makes a false tax return, the tax collector shall assess the hired preparer a penalty not exceeding 100% of the tax due… An income tax return preparer who willfully attempts to evade any tax imposed under this article or the payment thereof is guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, is subject to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or both.” (“Senate Bill 304,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/16/17)

Clean Cars Act Of 2017

  • The Clean Cars Act Of 2017 Reauthorizes The Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment Rebate Program And Increases Funding For The Program To $1.2 Million; Legislation Also Increases The Excise Tax Credit For purchases Of Electric Vehicles To $3 Million. “There is an Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment Rebate Program… For fiscal years 2018 through 2020, subject to the provisions of this section,  an individual, a businesses entity, or a unit of State or local government may apply to the Administration for an electric vehicle recharging equipment rebate for the costs of acquiring and installing qualified electric vehicle recharging equipment. For each fiscal year, the total amount of rebates issued by the Administration may not exceed $1,200,000… That, notwithstanding any other provision of law, for fiscal years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively, the lesser of $2,400,000 or the actual total amount of credits allowed against the excise tax shall be transferred from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund established under § 9–20B–05 of the State Government Article to the Transportation Trust Fund to offset a reduction in revenues from the vehicle excise tax credit for qualified plug–in electric drive vehicles under § 13–815 of the Transportation Article, as enacted by  this Act. The total amount of credits allowed against the excise tax may not exceed $3,000,000 during the course of any fiscal year.” (“House Bill 406,” Maryland General Assembly, 1/26/17)

Clean Water Commerce Act Of 2017

  • The Clean Water Commerce Act Of 2017 Allows For $10 Million Over The Next Two Fiscal Years Of The Bay Restoration Fund To Be Used To Purchase Nutrient Credits. “After funding any eligible costs identified under item (IV) 1 and 2 of this paragraph, for costs associated with the purchase of cost-effective nitrogen, phosphorus, or sediment load reductions in support of the State’s efforts to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay, not to exceed $4,000,000 in fiscal year 2018, $6,000,000 in fiscal year 2019, and $10,000,000 per year in fiscal years 2020 and 2021.” (“Senate Bill 314,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/7/17)

Maryland Energy Innovation Institute

  • The Maryland Energy Institute Is Established To Attract Clean Energy Investment And Develop Additional Clean Energy Programs. “There is a Maryland Energy Innovation Institute. The Institute is part of the A. James Clark School of Engineering of the University of Maryland. The A. James Clark School of Engineering shall manage the Institute according to the policies of the University of Maryland and the University System of Maryland with the advice of the Institute Board. The purposes of the Institute are to: collaborate with academic institutions in the State to participate in clean energy programs; and develop and attract private investment in clean energy innovation and commercialization in the State. The exercise by the Institute of the powers conferred by this part is the performance of an essential governmental function.” (“Senate Bill 313,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/13/17)

P-TECH School Act Of 2017

  • P-TECH School Act Of 2017 Establishes A Funding Mechanism For P-TECH Schools And A Provision For P-TECH Planning Grants In Order To Double The Number Of P-TECH Schools In Maryland. “A P–TECH student may not be required to pay any cost that is related to enrollment and participation in the program, including tuition and mandatory fees… There is a P-TECH Planning Grant Program in the State. The purpose of the P-TECH Planning Grant Program is to provide grants to county boards to plan and develop P-TECH schools in the State. In each year, no more than two P-TECH Planning Grants may be awarded in a local school system. Funds for the P-TECH Planning Grant Program and distribution of grants shall be as provided in the State budget.” (“House Bill 413,” Maryland General Assembly, 1/26/17)

P-TECH Expansion

  • Governor Hogan Invested $855,000 In The Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Toward Existing P-TECH Schools In The State And To Double The Number Of P-TECH Schools In Maryland. (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)

Liquor Board Reform Legislation

  • Legislation Sponsored By Delegate Lisanti Included A Provision From Governor Hogan’s Liquor Board Reform Act Of 2017, Applying The Requirements Of The Maryland Public Ethics Law To Members And Employees Of Local Boards Of License Commissioners And Control Boards. “In Baltimore City, ‘local official’ includes city employees and officials of the Baltimore City Health Department; the Police Commissioner of Baltimore City and the civilian employees and police officers of the Police Department of Baltimore City; and members and employees of the civilian review board. In Baltimore County ‘local official’ include: board members and the chief executive of the Baltimore County Revenue Authority and for the purpose of the financial disclosure provisions enacted by the governing body of Baltimore County, except for a member of the Baltimore County Board of Education, members of a board of a State agency that is wholly or partly funded by Baltimore County, regardless of whether a member is compensated. In Montgomery County, ‘local official’ includes: members and employees of the Montgomery County Revenue Authority; commissioners and employees of the Montgomery County  Housing Opportunities Commission; and  county employees of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. In St. Mary’s County, “local official” includes commissioners and  employees of the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission.” (“House Bill 1386,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/13/17)

Open Meetings Training

  • Legislation Sponsored By Delegate Morales Includes Provisions From Governor Hogan’s Legislative Transparency Act Of 2017 Requiring Open Meetings Training For Members Of Public Bodies. “Each public body shall designate at least one individual who is an employee, an officer, or a member of the public body to receive training on the requirements of the open meetings law. Within 90 days after an individual shall complete a class on the open meetings law.” (“House Bill 880,” Maryland General Assembly, Accessed: 4/11/17)    

State Finance And Procurement – Small  And Minority Business Participation

  • Legislation Increases The Small Business Reserve Program Goal By 50% And Incorporates The 60% Rule Into The Minority Business Enterprise Program. “To the extent practicable, a unit shall structure its procurement procedures to achieve a minimum of 15% of the unit’s total dollar value of goods, supplies, services, maintenance, construction,  construction–related services, and architectural and engineering service contracts to be made directly to small business… A unit may apply on 60% of the costs of the materials and supplies provided by the certified minority business enterprise if the certified minority business enterprise is a regular dealer for purposes of achieving the minority business enterprise contract goal.” (“Senate Bill 309,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/14/17)

Promoting Efficiencies In State Procurement

  • Legislation Removes Redundancies Within State Procurement, Reduces Cycle Time, Raises The Small Procurement Threshold To $50,000 And $100,000 For Construction , Provides Statutory Authority For Task Orders For Agencies And Removes Statutory Preference For Competitive Sealed Bidding. “In this section ‘small procurement’ means procurement for which: a unit spends $50,000 or less… the Department of General Services of the Department of Transportation is seeking to award a procurement contract for a construction with a value that is $100,000 or less… [Except as provided in Subtitle 3 and Subtitle 4 of this title, all procurement by units shall be by competitive sealed bids unless one of the following methods specifically is authorized] the following procurement methods are authorized at the procurement officer’s discretion, where applicable: competitive sealed bids under § 13–103 of this subtitle… A unit of the Executive Branch that requires [information technology] services, supplies, or commodities covered under a master contract may issue a solicitation for a task order to a [qualified offeror in the appropriate category of information technology services] master contractor consistent with [procedures and policies] the regulations adopted [by the Secretary in subsection (b) of this section] under § 13–114  of this subtitle.” Note:Information in brackets indicate matter removed from previous law. (“Senate Bill 311,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/23/17)

Improving The State Procurement Oversight Structure

  • Legislation Sponsored By Delegate Reznik Included Similar Proposals Regarding The Restructuring And Expansion Of the Procurement Improvement Council. “There is a Procurement Improvement Council… The Council shall ensure that the State’s procurement system is utilizing the most advanced procurement methods and management techniques, including policies, procedures, and forms for all procurement activity and contract management…Provide a forum for the discussion of specific procurement issues and problems that arise, including: procurement officer training; risk analysis and insurance requirements; management of eMaryland Marketplace and other Internet procurement resources; use of intergovernmental cooperative purchasing agreements; and any other issues or problems identified by the council…” (“House Bill 1021,” Maryland General Assembly, 3/11/17)