Governor Larry Hogan has announced several legislative initiatives for the 2019 session. See below for the complete list. Several are linked to press releases or additional information.
Education Opportunities for All Marylanders
- Legislation that increases funding for school construction projects requested by local school systems; legislation will give the Maryland Stadium Authority oversight of these additional school construction funds, and include accountability measures.
- Legislation that will expand the P-TECH schools program in Maryland by lifting caps that limit the state to issuing one planning grant per local school system.
- Legislation that creates an independent Office of the State Education Inspector General that will be charged with investigating complaints of unethical, unprofessional, improper, or illegal conduct in our local school systems, and will have the ability to obtain information by subpoena and hold hearings.
- Legislation will allow Marylanders to deduct 100% of the interest paid on their student loans from their state income tax; legislation also expands the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Program to include four-year Maryland public institutions, and doubles the deduction for families participating in Maryland 529 savings plans from $2,500 to $5,000.
- Legislation that will provide $1,600 in per-pupil funding for each public charter school student.
Safe Schools Act Of 2019
- Legislation that creates the Safe Schools Maryland Program in the Maryland Center For School Safety, which will establish procedures for anonymous reporting of behaviors of concern involving one or more students.
Expanding Economic And Tax Opportunities For Maryland Residents And Job Creators
- Legislation that extends a 10-year tax credit for each new job created by business that locates or expands on a Maryland Opportunity Zone; legislation also exempts specified fees and property taxes for these businesses.
- Legislation that will invest $16 million will be tasked with creating a long-term strategic vision and implementation plan to leverage more than $500 million in planned investment over the next decade.
State Government – Regulations Impacting Small Businesses
- Legislation seeks to improve how state agencies estimate the economic impact of proposed regulations, and consider ways to minimize regulatory impacts on small businesses by requiring state agencies to provide a compliance guide to make it easier for small businesses to comply with regulations, and by offering relief to small businesses from regulatory fines and penalties, and from being subject to duplicative regulations.
Maryland Stadium Authority – Ocean City Convention Facility – Renovation
- Legislation that allows the Maryland Stadium Authority the needed capacity to finance the addition and renovation of the Roland E. Powell Ocean City Convention Center.
State Personnel Recruitment Modernization Act Of 2019
- Legislation that would streamline the selection process, modernize notice requirements, and provide greater flexibility and efficiencies in hiring to allow the state to compete for high quality applicants.
- Legislation that expands eligibility for the tax credit to small businesses that provide paid parental leave, and doubles the available tax credit for businesses that provide both paid sick leave and parental leave.
Retirement Tax Fairness Act Of 2019
- Legislation extends state tax exemptions to additional retirement plans including IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, and SEP’s.
Hometown Heroes Act Of 2019
- Legislation that exempts retired law enforcement, fire, rescue, correctional officer, or emergency response personnel from state tax on all retirement income specific to their service as a first responder and public safety worker.
Securing Our Streets and Supporting Victims of Crime
- Legislation that will double the minimum sentence from five to ten years for repeat offenders who use a firearm to commit a violent crime.
- Legislation that will require the Sentencing Commission to publish detailed, judge-by-judge information on the actual sentences given for violent crimes as well as the sentencing guidelines for those cases.
- Legislation that classifies felony human trafficking as a violent crime.
- Legislation that creates a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years for anyone convicted of a drunk or drugged driving offense on three or more prior occasions, as well as anyone convicted of causing a death or a life-threatening injury on their second and/or subsequent offenses.
Expanding Healthcare Access
Maryland Department Of Health – Capital And Grant Programs – State Grants
- Legislation that increases the percentage amount in state grants that can be used to pay for capital costs for community mental health, addiction, and developmental disabilities facilities. Also increases the caps on the percentages of certain costs that may be covered by state grants under the Federally Qualified Health Centers Grant Program.
Workers’ Compensation – Medical Presumptions
- Legislation that adds bladder, kidney, and renal cell cancers to the types of cancers considered as occupational diseases for firefighters under the workers’ compensation law.
Preserving Our Environment
Clean Cars Act Of 2019
- Legislation that expands the electric vehicle tax credit to include fuel cell electric vehicles, more than doubles the amount of dedicated funds to the electric infrastructure and vehicle tax credit programs to $6 million, and refocuses the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council on promoting and expanding the opportunities for fuel cell electric vehicles to enter the market.
Fostering Free and Fair Elections
- Legislation that institutes a nonpartisan redistricting process for both congressional and legislative districts, as well as provides criteria for congressional districts.
Over Half A Billion Dollars In Tax Relief
- Retirement Tax Fairness Act Of 2019: $188 Million (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)
- Student Debt Relief Act Of 2019: $151 Million (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)
- Military Retirement Income Tax Relief: $91 Million (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)
- Hometown Heroes Act Of 2019: $52 Million (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)
- More Opportunities For Marylanders Act Of 2019: $38 Million (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)
- Small Business Relief Tax Credit Expansion: $25 Million (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)
- Clean Cars Act Of 2019: $15 Million (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)
- Volunteer Firefighters Tax Relief: $7 Million (Maryland Department Of Budget And Management)