Maryland State Wire

Maryland State Wire

Monday, February 24, 2020

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: State of the State and Education Reform


By Press release submission | Feb 10, 2020

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Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce issued the following announcement on Feb. 5.

Governor Hogan will give the annual State of the State Address to the General Assembly. In this address, the Governor will outline his key legislative and policy priorities. It is widely expected that he will dedicate a significant portion of the address to the public education reforms proposed by the Kirwan Commission. In 2020, the “state of the state” in Maryland includes a powerful Democratic majority in the General Assembly and a Republican governor. This combination resulted in the General Assembly overriding a gubernatorial veto five times.

Veto Power in Reverse

The voting was mostly along party lines when the General Assembly voted to override five of Governor Hogan’s vetoes from last year. All five bills were passed by the General Assembly but after reviewing them, Governor Hogan decided for political and policy reasons, they were not in Maryland’s best interest and used his veto power to overrule the General Assembly. The Democratic controlled General Assembly clearly disagreed with the Governor and overrode his veto.

It takes 29 votes in the Senate and 85 votes in the House to override a veto. This shows the beginning of what could be a contentious legislative session between the Governor and the General Assembly over policy and tax issues. Lawmakers reversed Hogan’s vetoes of the following bills:

•Expanding the state’s Dream Act, giving in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants,

•Restoring a bill that expands the grievance process for state workers,

•Revamping the management of the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay,

•Not allowing employers criminal history on job applications, (“ban the box”), and

•Abolishing the Handgun Permit Review Board.

While there are a number of policy and political issues concerning each vetoed item, the ban the box bill is of particular interest to employers, since it takes away the right to ask a job applicant, during the first interview or on an application, about criminal history but you can ask in a second interview. This will add another regulation and burden to the hiring process.

Lots of talk about funding for Kirwan but what do we get?

SB 2, the Digital Advertising Tax, would tax social media companies at up to a 10% rate on the gross revenue earned from digital ads that target Maryland IP addresses. On Wednesday, January 29, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee heard testimony on this bill. If SB 2 were to pass, Maryland would be the first state to impose this punitive tax on digital advertising a which would drive up the cost of social media services and create additional reporting requirements for those businesses involved with digital advertising. The tax revenue generated by this tax on social media is proposed to help fund the public education recommendations from the Kirwan Commission. The debate on SB 2 and other new taxes for Kirwan will continue and prompt a lot of debate

What has been missing from the funding debate is conversation about how each county will come up with money to pay for Kirwan, each county will be on the hook for about a third of the new costs. County Council will be starting this discussion soon!

Original source can be found here.

Source: Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce

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Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce

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