Rural Maryland Council Legislative Committee met March 19.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
Lindsay Thompson, Co-Chair
Senator Adelaide Eckardt
Charlotte Davis, Executive Director
Meredith Donaho, Program Administrator
The meeting was called to order at approximately 3:02 pm.
The meeting minutes from the March 5, 2018 Legislative Committee were shared. Co-Chair Lindsay Thompson requested changes to the minutes. No requests for changes were made. A motion was made for the minutes to be approved. The minutes were unanimously accepted.
2018 Legislative Tracking
HB243/SB968 - Task Force on Rural Internet, Broadband, Wireless, and Cellular Service - Study and Extension. The bill has passed in the House, it will be heard in the Senate. The bill is expected to pass within the next two weeks.
HB961 – Department of Information Technology – Rural Broadband Service – Inventory and Mapping of Assets. The bill is favorable with amendments, the bill has been amended so that the inventory and mapping will be conducted by the Department of Housing and Community Development instead of the Department of Information Technology.
HB1415/SB1092 - Education - Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education. The Bill has not moved in the Senate and is not expected to pass. The bill was discussed for informational purposes.
HB1532/SB991 - Higher Education - Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program – Farmers.
The bill does not contain a specific funding source, both bills are moving in the House and Senate. The bill was discussed for informational purposes.
SB1188/HB1767 - Wireless Facilities - Permitting and Siting. A Letter of Information was submitted, a copy was made available for the Committee. The bill is not expected to pass, its intent is to start a conversation.
RMC Legislative Committee
SB1248/HB1233 – Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Businesses Account – Funding. It was suggested that the bill be supported like last year. A similar letter of support will be drafted.
Budget Update: The Senate rejected the Department of Legislative Service’s recommendation to cut the RMPIF by $2.5 million, they agreed to include the full appropriation of $6 million for FY19. An amendment has been submitted to for MAERDAF to submit an Agriculture Education report by September 1, 2018. The Next Generation Farmland Program has been added to the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) for FY2020, FY2021, and FY2022.
With no other updates, the meeting adjourned at approximately 3:25 pm.
Next meeting: Monday, April 2, 2018, 3pm -4pm, Conference Call.