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Maryland Legislative Wrap-Up


2018 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY WRAP-UP

The 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly proved to be one of the most challenging sessions in the past several years.
With the elections coming up in November, partisan politics played a significant role in which bills passed and which bills were defeated.

The following is a recap of the major issues ABC lobbied for during the session, which ended April 9, 2018.  Copies of these bills are available by contacting Bob Zinsmeister.  

 

 PROCUREMENT

  H.B. 62- Procurement Contracts- Gender Wage Gap
Would have required bidders on a procurement contract with a state or local government agency, to report on differences in wages between male and female employees without specific job comparisons.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 112- Procurement- Responsible Bidders- Petition by Member of General Assembly
The bill would have allowed a member of the General Assembly to petition the Board of Public Works to reconsider and cancel an executed contract.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 776- Procurement- Responsible Workforce Development Percentage Price Preference Act
The bill, as originally drafted, would have established a procurement price preference of at least 4% for a responsible bidder or subcontractor certifies that its total payments for employee health care expenses are at least 6.5% of the aggregate wages paid by the bidder or subcontractor. The bill was heavily amended and now requires only that the Board of Public Works conducts a Workforce Health Care Study.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL PASSED AS AMENDED. Even though the bill passed we viewed this as a major victory for the industry.

 
 

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

  S.B. 853- Labor and Employment- General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wages
The bill makes a general contractor jointly and severally liable for violations of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law committed by a subcontractor or the subcontractor’s subcontractor. However, a subcontractor must indemnify a general contractor for any wages, damages, interest, penalties or attorney’s fees owed as a result of the subcontractor’s violation unless indemnification is provided for in a contract between the general contractor and the subcontractor.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL PASSED. 

  H.B. 264- Labor and Employment- Right to Work
The bill would have prohibited an employer, as a condition of employment for an employee, to join or remain a member of a labor organization or pay any dues, fees or assessments to a labor organization.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 540- Labor and Employment- Pre-Tax Transportation Fringe Benefit- Requirement
The bill would have required an employer with at least 20 employees to offer employees the opportunity to use a pre-tax transportation fringe benefit.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 541- Labor and Employment- Criminal Record Screening Practices (Ban the Box)
The bill would have prohibited an employer with 15 or more full-time employees from conducting a criminal history records check on an applicant or requiring an applicant to disclose whether the applicant has a criminal record. ABC opposed the bill due to the penalty provisions contained in the legislation.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 974- Labor and Employment- Exemptions from Overtime Pay- Administrative, Executive or Professional Capacity
The bill would have increased the salary level for employees who qualify for overtime pay from $23,600 to $46,800. (Obama Executive Order).
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 1314- Healthy Working Families Act- Exemptions- Modifications
The bill would have removed the union exemption from the Mandated Sick and Safe Leave legislation passed last year, vetoed by the Governor, and the veto overridden.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL DEFEATED. 
  S.B. 1010- Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018
The original draft of the bill provided an exemption for unions. ABC supported the bill with an amendment to remove the union exemption.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL PASSED WITH THE AMENDMENT. 
  H.B. 1637- Labor and Employment- Parking Cash-Out Program- Requirement
The bill would have required an employer that provides employees a free parking space or a parking subsidy to establish a parking cash-out program.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 
  S.B. 377- Labor and Employment- Pay Scales and Wage History Information
The bill would have required an employer to provide the pay scale for a position to a job applicant on request. It also provided that an employer may not rely on an applicant’s wage history for screening or considering the applicant for employment.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 
 

TRANSPORTATION

  H.B. 14- Vehicle Laws- Work Zone Speed Control System- Increased Penalty for Multiple Offenses
The bill would have increased the maximum civil penalty for a third or subsequent violation in a calendar year of a posted speed restriction in a work zone.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 1556- Public-Private Partnerships- Public Notice of Solicitations and Approval of Agreements
The bill would have barred specific state agencies from issuing a solicitation for a public-private partnership (P3), and the Board of Public Works from approving a P3 agreement, unless specified public notice and hearing requirements have been met.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 1641- Maryland Transportation Public-Private Partnership Oversight Act
The bill would have established an independent Office of Transportation Oversight to oversee the drafting, legislative review, implementation, extension and termination of transportation-related public-private partnerships (P3s) and partnership agreements.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

 

CONSTRUCTION

  H.B. 221- Local Government- School Construction Permits
The bill requires each county or municipality, when practicable, to expedite the process for the application and issuance of a permit related to the construction of public or private school facilities.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL PASSED. 

  H.B. 1627- Real Property- Construction Contracts- Retention Proceeds
The bill would have specified that retention proceeds must be paid within 90 days after the date of substantial completion.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

 

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

  H.B. 484- Workers’ Compensation- Average Weekly Wage- Multiple Employers
The bill would have altered how an employee’s average weekly wage is calculated for the purpose or workers’ compensation benefits when employed by more than one employer at the time of the injury.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 1497- Workers’ Compensation- Temporary Total Disability- Credit
The bill would have specified that an employer may be entitled to a credit for compensation paid to a covered employee who is temporarily totally disabled due to an accidental personal injury if the employee’s medical treatment for other injury is delayed or suspended due solely to an unrelated injury.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  S.B. 575- Workers’ Compensation- Self-Insured Employers- Suspected Fraud Reporting
The bill expands the authority of the Maryland Insurance Administration’s Insurance Fraud Division to encompass investigating and taking action on fraud committed by or against a governmental self-insurance group and employers who self-insure.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL PASSED. 

  S.B. 979- Workers’ Compensation- Third-Party Actions- Subsequent Injury Fund
The bill requires that, unless third-party reimbursement has been waived, a self-insured employer, insurer or the Uninsured Employers’ Fund be reimbursed before the Subsequent Injury Fund when damages are recovered from a third party that is liable for the injury or death of a covered employee.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL PASSED. 

 

PREVAILING WAGE

  S.B 278- Prevailing Wage- Tax Increment Financing Developments- Application
The bill requires that prevailing wages be paid for the construction of a structure or work (1) located in a tax increment financing district created after July 1, 2018 and (2) built using proceeds from local government bonds for use in those districts. The bill applies only if a political subdivision authorizes the payment of prevailing wages for the construction project.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL PASSED. 

  S.B. 572- Prevailing Wage Rates- Public Work Contracts- Suits by Employees
The bill authorizes an employee under a public work contract who is paid less than the appropriate prevailing wage to sue to recover the difference in wages paid without first filing a complaint with the Commissioner of Labor and Industry. A determination by the commissioner that a contractor is required to make restitution does not preclude the employee from a private cause of action including double or treble damages and reasonable counsel fees and costs.
ABC OPPOSED.   BILL PASSED.  ABC SENT A VETO REQUEST LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR.

 

APPRENTICESHIP

  S.B. 515- Career and Technology Education and Workforce Investment Act
The bill would have established the Career and Technology Education Grant Program within the Interagency Committee on School Construction to provide grants to local school systems for the capital equipping of school facilities used to provide CTE.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  S.B. 517- Career Apprenticeship Investment Act
The bill would have expanded a tax credit and scholarship programs that support apprenticeship opportunities in the State. It would have also established matching grant programs to expand apprenticeship opportunities in workforce shortage areas.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 1234- Career Youth and Public Sector Apprenticeship Act
The bill prohibits a higher education institution from referring to a noncredit or credit course as an apprenticeship training course unless the course is an approved registered apprenticeship training program. The Department of Workforce Development and Adult Learning must partner with State departments to identify opportunities to create registered apprenticeship programs to help address workforce shortages.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL PASSED. 

  S.B. 949- Career Education Policy Act
The bill would have established new policies, programs and workgroups and alter existing program and scholarship requirements to facilitate youth participation in career and technical education, apprenticeship and workforce development sequence programs.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

 

LICENSING

  H.B. 1241- Corporations and Associations- Recordation and Filing- Proof of Occupational or Professional License or Admission to the Bar
The bill would have prohibited the State Department of Assessments and Taxation from accepting any specified documents for record or filing from a for-profit commercial or professional entity providing a service that requires an occupational or professional license from the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
ABC OPPOSED.  BILL DEFEATED. 

  H.B. 1407- Maryland Electricians Act
The bill would have generally repealed local authority to license electricians and require an individual to be licensed by the State Board of Electricians as a master electrician or journeyperson electrician.
ABC SUPPORTED.  BILL DEEATED.