The 2022 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session:
Who We Are and What We Do: The Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO has more than 800 affiliated local unions, representing 340,000 union members in public sector, education, trades and construction, entertainment, manufacturing, transportation, health care, retail, hospitality, and other industries. We work for the freedom of every worker to form and join a union, for the right of all people to be free from employment discrimination, to be treated fairly, to earn family sustaining wages with secured retirement and affordable health care, and to be safe at work. Our focus includes: Investing taxpayer dollars in creating good jobs to build and repair our infrastructure and schools; creating good family-supporting jobs with benefits and job protections; maintaining and building good jobs at home by reindustrializing the Maryland economy and redoubling efforts for worker protections; ensuring fair tax policies, transparency, and accountability in spending public tax dollars; protecting public education and public service workers so that they can continue to provide the highest value and level of support to Marylanders; and ending wage theft through protecting and enforcing current labor laws.
The weekly Monday Night Labor Lobbyists meetings, normally held in-person, were conducted completely virtually, encouraging every affiliate to participate in the Monday Night Labor Lobbyists Meeting. The State Fed educated attendees and facilitated discussion on bills and issues impacting workers in Maryland. Individual unions presented legislation keeping the broader labor community educated and involved in issues impacting certain sectors of labor. Most legislation has an impact on a cross-section of workers. Lobby nights also engaged strategies for moving bills through committees and identifying legislators to target for direct lobbying in favor of labor’s position on the bills. The State Fed participated in several coalitions steering legislation, most notably the “End Medical Debt” coalition and the “Everyone Votes MD” coalition.
During the 2022 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session, we tracked 560 bills including the Operational Budget and the Capital Budget. We submitted testimony and/or testified before legislative committees on 60 bills including their cross-filed versions. Our labor coalition passed 26 bills for our unions and Maryland’s workers, we once again killed “Right to Work”, and we halted the passage of dozens of bills that would have hurt unions and working people.
2022 Session Statistics
During the 2022 regular session of the General Assembly legislators introduced a total of 2,344 bills and 13 resolutions. The Senate originated 1013 bills and 11 resolutions, and the House originated 1487 bills and 8 resolutions. Of those introduced, 829 bills and 7 resolutions were passed, including the resolution that redrew legislative lines based on the decennial redistricting process. The State Federation reviews all bills, assesses effects on workers and our unions, informs affiliates of bills impacting their members, and asks affiliates to confirm if they will lobby on specific bills.
The 442nd session of the General Assembly of Maryland convened January 12, 2022, marking the fourthyear of the four-year 2019 – 2023 elected term for 47 Senators and 141 Delegates. During the interim preceding the 2022 Session, six members of the General Assembly resigned and Gubernatorial appointees replaced them to fill the remainder of the terms.
House of Delegates Appointments
Cheryl Landis was appointed as Delegate in District 23B
Faye Martin Howell was appointed as Delegate in District 24
Karen Toles was appointed as Delegate in District 25
Rachel Muñoz was appointed as Delegate in District 33
Roxanne Prettyman was appointed as Delegate in District 44A
Ron Watson was appointed as Senator in District 23
2021 Special Sessionand Veto Overrides on 2021 Labor Legislation – Due to the decennial redistricting process and the completion of Census 2020, a Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly was called in December of 2021 to redraw the Congressional and State Legislative Lines. During that Special Session, the General Assembly also took up veto overrides on bills that Governor Hogan had vetoed during the 2021 Legislative Session. Of the ten bills vetoed in 2021, eight of them were priority bills for unions. The General Assembly overrode the vetoes on seven of labor’s bills, and allowed the veto to be sustained on one:
SB 9 (HB 486) State Employees – Collective Bargaining – Applicability, Bargaining Processes, and Memorandums of Understanding(OVERRIDDEN) unifies collective bargaining for higher education workers under the USM, instead of with each institution, individually. Under current law the president of each institution in the USM system bargains with the union but does not get the final say on bargaining. USM, alone is the final arbiter for management, with the individual president’s acting as a barrier to workers bargaining directly with those who make decisions for management. SB 9 (HB 486) streamlines the process, eliminates duplicative efforts, and allows for workers to bargain directly with the University System, instead of wasting time and money going through an extra layer of management that lacks the authority to make a final decision.
HB 904 (SB 717) State Personnel – Collective Bargaining – Exclusive Representative Access to New Employees(OVERRIDDEN) gives unions greater access to the workers they represent at the point of hiring. For any organization to be effective, it needs access to the people it represents. This is true of businesses, advocacy groups, and even informal social clubs. Unions, advocating on behalf of workers, should be no different. Access to the people that they must represent, by law, gives the Exclusive Representative a pathway to better protect all workers – be they members of the union, or not – and to provide critical information and assistance to union members and non-member, alike.
HB 894 (SB 746) Education – Community Colleges – Collective Bargaining(OVERRIDDEN) is enabling legislation that gives Community College workers the right to form and join a union. In a recent Executive Order, President Biden reaffirmed the position of the United States on collective bargaining rights by stating “It is also the policy of the United States to encourage union organizing and collective bargaining.” The State Fed believes that the State of Maryland should follow the lead of the United States and has advocated for this law for several years in concert with our unions.
HB 278 Economic Development – Job Creation Tax Credit – Qualified Position(OVERRIDDEN) adds job standards to the JCTC that requires businesses to pay 150% of minimum wage, provide affordable health insurance, pay UI and WC on workers, provide career advancement, retirement benefits, and afford their workers the right to collectively bargain, to receive this tax credit for hiring workers. Maryland business tax credits reflect our values. The State should not be giving money away without demanding certain criteria are met. No other investor in a business operates this way, and neither should the State of Maryland. The State Fed is committed to ensuring the State uses Job Creation Tax Credit policy to strengthen and build our middle class, by setting a higher standard for businesses to access these resources. If it does not, then workers – the investors – are paying taxes to create low-quality jobs for other workers.
HB 419 (SB 460) Economic Development – Advanced Clean Energy and Clean Energy Innovation Investments and Initiatives(OVERRIDDEN) requires the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEII) and the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) to implement an accelerator program for Maryland-based technology companies engaged in clean energy innovation. MCEC is designated as a green bank for the State and must work in conjunction with other local and private green banks, and the accelerator program must feature seed funding, training, developmental support for the companies, and pilot projects focused on on-site clean energy generation for buildings. The bill takes a broad and inclusive approach to the next generation of clean energy development. Instead of banning certain forms of energy without having a back-up plan to produce enough clean energy for the needs of Marylanders, the bill attacks climate change, head-on, by addressing our current lack of clean energy solutions. From investing in fuel cell technology, to grid modernization; from tidal power to nuclear; from tackling transportation to energy storage and battery technology, this bill is a solid step in the right direction for addressing climate change through advanced clean energy technologies.
HB 114 (SB 199) Maryland Transit Administration – Funding (Transit Safety and Investment Act)(OVERRIDDEN) mandates spending by the Governor on the repair needs of MTA, through FY2029, as well as setting minimum annual spending amounts for MTA. It also creates a Western Maryland MARC Rail Extension study to be completed by July 1, 2023, as well as creates a “Purple Line Construction Zone Grant Program” for small businesses impacted by the construction of the Purple Line. The State Federation strongly supports greater access and reliability for commuters, workers, businesses, and consumers, coupled with a cleaner environment through reduced carbon emissions, all while creating good family-sustaining jobs for thousands more Marylanders: These are the benefits that the Transit Safety Investment Act will bring to our State. The time to act is now for the residents of Maryland, our environment, and the people who create value in our economy, the workers.
HB 174 (SB 95) Public Utilities – Investor-Owned Utilities – Prevailing Wage(OVERRIDDEN) requires investor-owned gas and/or electric utilities to require contractors and subcontractors on underground projects to pay their employees at least the applicable prevailing wage rate. The bill applies to projects involving the construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, restoration, or alteration of any underground gas or electric infrastructure of the company, and any related traffic control activities. Labor knows that Prevailing Wage brings multiple benefits to communities in the way of an increased tax base, higher quality workforces, and higher standard of living. On State and Local government projects, Prevailing Wage law ensures that the taxpayers are getting the highest quality product for the money while supporting family sustaining jobs. Prevailing Wage law ensures that the next generation of construction workers are receiving the gold-standard in construction training, by increased funding for Apprenticeship Training Programs through the Joint Apprenticeship Training Council.
HB 1322 Primary and Secondary Education – School Personnel – Prohibition on Retaliation for Not Returning to In-Person Instruction and Work (VETO SUSTAINED) required, for the 2020-2021 school year during a state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Board of Education (SBE) and local boards of education to allow teachers, educational support professionals, and other professional school personnel to instruct or work remotely, if the individual has not received a COVID-19 vaccine or has not been fully vaccinated. Because the time had passed for this bill to have had any affect, the Maryland General Assembly did not override the Governor’s veto.
In-Session Veto Overrides on 2022 Labor Legislation – The following six labor bills were vetoed by the Governor within seven days of the end of Session, allowing the General Assembly to override his vetoes prior to Sine Die.
HB 145 (SB 1) State Finance and Procurement – Prevailing Wage – Stop Work Orders (OVERRIDDEN) provides enforcement and penalty muscle to our Prevailing Wage law by granting the authority to the Commissioner of Labor to issue a stop work order to a public works contractor if, after an investigation, it is found that they violated Prevailing Wage law. There have been over 500 Prevailing Wage law violations in the last four years. Clearly, the current system is not dissuading irresponsible contractors from continuing to exploit their own workers.
SB 259 (HB 611) Procurement – Prevailing Wage – Applicability (OVERRIDDEN) expands Prevailing Wage law to mechanical systems service contracts, which, in effect, expands it to the maintenance of our taxpayer funded buildings. This is an important step toward promoting family-sustaining careers (as well as increasing Apprenticeship opportunities) and ensuring that we are good stewards of the taxpayers’ money by investing in highly skilled tradesmen and women to maintain the mechanical systems in our schools and state facilities.
HB 90 (SB 255) State Personnel Management System – Office of the Public Defender –Placement and Collective Bargaining (OVERRIDDEN) is enabling legislation that allows Public Defenders to form and join a union if they choose to do so. It affords employees in the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) the same rights that 30,000 other Maryland State employees currently enjoy: The right to make their own decision as to whether they want to organize and form a union. And, Maryland now joins 18 other states where public defender employees have collective bargaining rights
HB 778 (SB 514) Transportation – Investment Program – MARC Rail Service (Maryland Regional Transformation Act) (OVERRIDDEN) creates a concrete plan to advance the MARC Cornerstone plan and to establish investment programs to enhance the existing MARC lines as well as to plan for new regional service and extend the Brunswick Line. The transportation dollars already exist to complete these enhancements and planning for new service, but we need the MARC Cornerstone Plan – a 30-year plan that identifies capital improvements needed to maintain a state of good repair for the MARC system – to have an eye toward a future of growth and expansion.
HB 580 (SB 475) Maryland Transit Administration Police – Collective Bargaining – Supervisors and Sergeants (OVERRIDEN) expands collective bargaining right to MTA Supervisors and Sergeants and is an affirmation of our State’s values to encourage and empower workers to have a voice in discussing with employers their safety concerns, productivity, pay and benefits, and other working conditions.
SB 275 (HB 8) Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2022)(OVERRIDDEN) establishes the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program in the Maryland Department of Labor to provide benefits to individuals who take leave from employment, and it also establishes the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund, with requirements of who should pay into it. FMLI is crucial to ensure that families who are struck with sudden medical crises have the safety net available to keep themselves and their loved ones financially secure.
Post-Session Gubernatorial Vetoes on 2022 Legislation – The following three labor bills were passed by the Maryland General Assembly, and subsequently vetoed by Governor Hogan on May 27, 2022. The Maryland Constitution does not allow for bills that are vetoed in an election year to be eligible for an override vote in the following regular legislative session. There will be no opportunity to override these vetoes. The General Assembly must re-introduce these bills in the 2023 Legislative Session, if they desire to pass them.
HB 172 Union Dues and Expenses to Influence Collective Bargaining (VETOED BY GOVERNOR) brought a subtraction modification back for union dues, for state income tax calculation. Changes in the federal tax system with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, eliminated union dues as an itemized deduction for miscellaneous expenses. Because of Maryland’s tax laws, union members cannot itemize an expense for State income tax purposes if the expense cannot be claimed as a federal itemized deduction. Therefore, union members in Maryland have taken a double hit; first by the Federal government, and then by the State of Maryland. This is the only tax cut bill that Governor Hogan has ever vetoed. The bill also eliminated the business tax deduction for union busting and anti-union legal costs as business expenses.
HB 141 (SB 23)Equity in Transportation Sector – Guidelines and Analyses (Transportation Equity Analyses and Assurances Act of 2021) (VETOED BY GOVERNOR) added a union member to the Advisory committee on State transportation goals, benchmarks, and indicators, and also created the Commission on Transportation Equity which includes a union member appointed by the State Fed. The people most affected by the legislation, and those who could offer real-world experience and expertise – the transportation workers – would have a seat at the table. It is vital that both the advisory committee and the Commission on Transportation Equity receives “on the ground” input from those who have intimate knowledge of Maryland’s transportation system.
HB 108 (SB 524) Public Utilities – Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs – Energy Performance Targets and Low-Income Housing (VETOED BY GOVERNOR) increased DHCD funding for these critical programs and demands high labor standards for a contractor to be added to the Department’s approved contractor list. To be approved the following labor standards must apply to the workers of all the contractors and subcontractors on the project: Career Advancement, the right to Collectively Bargain, Paid Leave, Unemployment Insurance and Workers’ Compensation verification, employer provided health insurance, and a salary of at least 150% of minimum wage. Moreover, it also demanded that funding only go to businesses that have followed Federal and State wage and hour laws for the preceding three years.
Bills that affect Labor that passed the Maryland General Assembly and will become law – The following labor bills passed the General Assembly, and were either signed into law by the Governor, or became law because he took no action on them. Unions supported all of the bills listed below.
SB 831 (HB 1349) Education Support Professionals – Workgroup and Bonus (ENACTED WITHOUT GOVERNOR) creates a workgroup to determine how many of our ESPs earn a living wage, and to study increasing wages for our education support professionals to attract and retain them. Additionally, it appropriates $1000 to each noncertificated education support professional – in two installments of $500 – as a bonus in recognition of their existing work. The Blueprint for Education failed to address support staff.
SB 314 Income Tax – Mechanical Insulation Installation Tax Credit (ENACTED WITHOUT GOVERNOR) creates a tax credit against the State income tax for up to 30% of the cost of installation of mechanical insulation for businesses. Moreover, it requires that, in order to receive this credit, those businesses must have the mechanical insulation installed meeting the minimum American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers standard for insulation. Applying the credit to this rigorous standard ensures that we are not wasting taxpayer dollars on shoddy workmanship, and that our goal of increased energy efficiency can be met.
HB 641 (SB 597) Income Tax – Theatrical Production Tax Credit (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR) creates the Theatrical Production Tax Credit, structured in the same way as the highly successful Film Activity Tax Credit, with the same level of transparency, accountability, and benefit to Maryland workers and their families, as well as the benefits for our small businesses and the economy.
HB 1 Constitutional Amendment - Cannabis - Adult Use and Possession (REFERENDUM) puts the question of legalization of recreational cannabis on the ballot to be approved by the voters on November 8, 2022.
HB 837 Cannabis Reform (ENACTED WITHOUT GOVERNOR) creates the regulatory framework for the sale and distribution of recreational cannabis. This legislation is necessary when the cannabis legalization ballot measure passes in November of 2022. The State Fed asked that the bill be amended to include Labor Peace requirements for retailers, but the amendment was not accepted.
HB 694 (SB 944) Hospitals - Financial Assistance - Medical Bill Reimbursement (ENACTED WITHOUT GOVERNOR) requires the Health Services Cost Review Commission, in coordination with the Department of Human Services, the State designated exchange, the Office of the Comptroller, and the Maryland Hospital Association, to develop a process for identifying patients who paid for hospital services but may have qualified for free care during calendar years 2017 through 2021 and for reimbursing the identified patients. It is time to take care of struggling free care eligible Marylanders, by refunding them for medical expenses that they should have never incurred, and that hospitals had no legal authority to ask of them. Hospitals receive Maryland taxpayer money annually to provide funds to eligible patients but fail to offer it those who need it most.
SB 518 Career Pathways for Health Care Workers Program (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR) creates a fund for employers to apply matching grants to pay for training programs that help offset the costs for the existing workforce to acquire new skills. It places workers directly into training programs offered through Maryland’s colleges, universities, and community colleges, and creates a career pathway program for workers to build the skills they need to be successful.
SB 633 Public Safety - 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System – Alterations (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR) classifies 9-1-1 Specialists as “First Responders” under Maryland law, allowing them to seek Workers’ Compensation for on-the-job injuries that, previously, were not recognized by the State.
SB 696 (HB 975) Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment for Nurses and Nursing Workers – Program Establishment and Funding (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR) creates a fund for loan assistance for nurses and nursing workers, allowing them to apply to obtain financial assistance for loans for required educational expenses. Additionally, to keep loan assistance focused on mitigating the staffing shortage, priority for funds would go to nurses and nursing workers practicing in a geographic area or medical specialty that the State has identified as having a shortage.
HB 227 State Government – Legal and Employee Holiday – Juneteenth National Independence Day (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR) establishes Juneteenth National Independence Day as a State legal holiday and State employee holiday.
HB 13 Procurement – Discriminatory Hiring Practices – Debarment (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR) establishes that a person may be debarred from entering into a contract with the State if it is found that the person has violated provisions of law prohibiting discrimination in employment or been debarred from federal contracts. No Marylander should face workplace discrimination, and employers who discriminate should be made to suffer harsh consequences for their actions
SB 61 Maryland Transit Administration - Conversion to Zero-Emission Buses (Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act Revisions) (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR) amends the Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act to mandate safety and workforce development training to MTA’s Operations Training Workforce and Maintenance Workforce for both the vehicles and charging stations. Additionally, and of even greater importance, the bill also does not allow for any duty or function of state employees to be transferred to any contracting entity, thus removing the threat of a service contract eliminating jobs in Maryland
SB 256 (HB 31) Maryland Energy Administration – Resiliency Hub Grant Program and Fund (ENACTED WITHOUT GOVERNOR) sets up grant funding to help lower-income communities construct resiliency hubs and serve their residents, and mandates strong labor standards for grant funding eligibility. To receive a grant, the following labor standards must apply to the workers of all the contractors and subcontractors on the project: Career Advancement, the right to Collectively Bargain, Paid Leave, Unemployment Insurance and Workers’ Compensation verification, Health Insurance, and a salary of at least 150% of minimum wage. Moreover, it also demands that funding only go to businesses that have been in compliance with Federal and State wage and hour laws for the preceding three years.
SB 604 (HB 1285) Maryland Electricians Act – Revisions (ENACTED WITHOUT GOVERNOR) makes three common sense modifications to the Maryland Electricians Act:
- Allows an applicant to credit their completion of an MATC approved apprenticeship as experience that counts towards licensure.
- Waives the examination requirement for some applicants who can fulfill alternate criteria for licensure that still has the same demanding standards.
- An electrician working wholly under a master electrician – while doing no other electrical work – will no longer have to carry general liability insurance or property damage insurance if the master electrician already carries them.
HB 54 (SB 332) Higher Education – St. Mary’s College of Maryland – Cost-of-Living Adjustment (ENACTED WITHOUT GOVERNOR) provides 100% funding for any cost-of-living increases provided to state workers. This bill will bring workers at St. Mary’s College back in line with other state workers at Maryland’s higher education institutions. Prior to this bill, St. Mary’s College only gave workers 50% of any negotiated wage increase.
SB 409 State Retirement and Pension System – COVID-19-Related Death Benefits - Extension (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR) extends the date – from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023 – that is used to determine eligibility of members of the State Retirement and Pension System for “line-of-duty” death benefits when COVID-19 caused or contributed to the death of a member. It is unfortunate that we need to extend this date, as it is a very real reminder that this health crisis is not behind us. However, it is absolutely necessary to provide comfort to the families that suffer these losses.
HB 763 Correctional Officers' Retirement System – Membership (SIGNED BY GOVERNOR) adds the Department of Juvenile Services’ Case Management Specialists I, II, III, Supervisor, Program Supervisor, and Group Life Mangers I and II to the Correctional Officers Retirement System (CORS). Adding these job titles to CORS will assist in recruitment and retention for a position that is often difficult to fill.
Bills that Labor opposed that did not pass – The following three bills received an unfavorable report in their respective committees or did not
HB 1203 Labor and Employment – Private-Sector Employers – Right to Work (UNFAVORABLE). Twenty-seven unions submitted testimony in opposition to Right-to-Work. It was voted down on a strict Party-line vote in the House Economic Matters Committee.
HB 977 Prevailing Wage – Public School Construction – Moratorium (UNFAVORABLE) was an attempt to exempt all school construction from Prevailing Wage law in the name of “saving money” for Maryland’s taxpayers. Like Right-to-Work, it was voted down on a strict Party-line vote in the House Economic Matters Committee.
SB 177 Uninsured Employers’ Fund – Payments to Former Employees of Bethlehem Steel Corporation (FAILED) takes away workplace injury benefits from many of the former workers at Bethlehem Steel. The bill sets an unrealistic standard of having to prove injury at a workplace that has not only been closed, but has been razed to the ground, over the past 18 years. The workers at Bethlehem Steel already suffered at the hands of a greedy corporation that filed bankruptcy and skipped town.
Bills that Labor supported that were voted down in Committee
HB 299 Labor and Employment - Employment Standards and Conditions - Definition of Employer (UNFAVORABLE) eliminated any ambiguity within Maryland law with respect to the definition of “employer”, removing multiple references to it that are semi-contradictory, and placing it in a much more relevant part of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (MPCL). Additionally, the new language within HB 299 reflects the same exact language in the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (MWHL), thereby harmonizing the MPCL and MWHL, removing more unwanted ambiguity, and giving courts a much cleaner law with clearer standards by which to adjudicate on Employee/Employer issues
Bills that affect Labor that received a vote of some kind but did not pass – The following bills either passed one chamber or the other or they received committee votes within one chamber or the other. Ultimately, they did not pass the full General Assembly.
HB 88 (SB 525)Public Utilities – Energy Distribution Planning and Required Labor Standards (FAILED) Creates the Distribution System Planning Workgroup and includes union members on it. It also requires that all contractors and subcontractors working on our electrical grid and distribution system pay Prevailing Wage, participate in a registered apprenticeship program, offer health care and retirement, have a goal of 25% of total work hours performed by Maryland residents, and have complied with federal and state wage and hour laws for the previous three yearsThe input of workers on the workgroup, and the inclusion of required labor standards in promulgated regulations is vital to the future of energy in Maryland as we are looking toward a global energy transition over the next few decades.The bill passed House Economic Matters and a full House vote, but no action was taken in the Senate.
HB 436 Motor Vehicle Insurance – Use of Credit History in Rating Policies (FAILED) bans the use of credit history in rating policies for auto insurance plans. Low-income workers have enough roadblocks, without being forced to pay more for auto insurance based on their credit history.The bill passed House Economic Matters and a full House vote, but no action was taken in the Senate.
HB 1250 Maryland Solar Investment Tax Credit and Task Force to Study Solar Energy Incentives (FAILED) creates a task force to study solar energy incentives and creates the Maryland Solar Investment Tax Credit with the mitigation of Climate Change and the creation of family-sustaining careers in mind. The tax credit covers 15% of the totaled installed costs, making it more affordable for the investor, but it also applies labor standards to the construction and installation of projects that are 2 megawatts or less. A business that receives the credit must pay prevailing wage, participate in a registered apprenticeship program, have no violations of federal or state wage laws in the preceding 3 years, maintain a “local hire” policy with an aspirational goal of 25% of total work hours to be performed by state residents, and offer health care and retirement benefits. The bill passed House Economic Matters, House Ways and Means, and a full House vote, but no action was taken in the Senate.
SB 755 (HB 1425) Infrastructure Grants – Federal Infrastructure Investment and Coordination Unit - Establishment (FAILED) creates the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Coordination Unit within the Governor’s Grants Office (GGO) for the purpose of centralized disbursement of Federal money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and centralized reporting on investments and their efficacy. Without centralizing this process, it will be nearly impossible to accurately account for all the grants, the success rate of grant awards, or the total amount of infrastructure grants awarded. Moreover, with a change in Governors coming next January, the entire subcabinet could be scrapped, leaving Maryland with no real way to track the $8.2 Billion, or the projects that money will fund. The bill passed Senate Budget and Taxation and a full Senate vote, but no action was taken in the House.
SB 418 (HB 569) Energy Generation, Transmission, and Storage Projects – Required Community Benefit Agreement and Labor Standards (FAILED) demands PLAs, Prevailing Wage, and Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) as requirements of energy generation, transmission, and storage projects. This will make sure that the local community is engaged, that at least 80% of the craft workers on the project are locally hired, and that labor standards are adhered to for the construction of these projects. The bill passed Senate Finance and a full Senate vote, but no action was taken in the House.
SB 782 (HB 1424) Workgroup on the Post-COVID-19 Crisis Economic Transition (FAILED) establishes the Workgroup on the Post-COVID-19 Crisis Economic Transition to make recommendations regarding how the State may adjust its economic development and other strategies resulting from the pandemic. It also requires the Workgroup to submit an interim report on or before December 1, 2022, and a final report of its findings and recommendations on or before December 1, 2023, to the Governor and the General AssemblyThe State Fed asked for this bill to be amended to allow for five union members to be appointed to the workgroup. The bill passed Senate Finance, Senate Budget and Taxation, a full Senate vote, and it passed House Economic Matters, but no further action was taken by the House.
SB 833 Cannabis – Legalization and Regulation (FAILED) legalizes marijuana for recreational use and applies regulations to the sale and distribution. The State Fed asked for the regulations to be amended to include Labor Peace for all retail operations. The bill passed Senate Finance, Senate Budget and Taxation, but no action was taken by the House.
Labor Bills that received no votes in Committee – The following bills received no vote in their respective committees, either by being withdrawn by the sponsor or the committee chair did not bring them up for a vote.
HB 1096 Economic Development Tax Credit Programs – Qualified Position and Qualified Employee – Definitions (FAILED) applies “good jobs” language to the One Maryland and More Jobs for Marylanders business tax inducements. It requires businesses to pay 150% of minimum wage, provide affordable health insurance, pay UI and WC on workers, provide career advancement, retirement benefits, and afford their workers the right to collectively bargain, to receive any tax credit for hiring workers.
HB 1225 Education – Harford County Public Library – Collective Bargaining (FAILED) is enabling legislation that allows Harford County Library employees the right to collectively bargain.
HB 1342 Cannabis - Legalization and Regulation (Cannabis Legalization and Equity Act) (FAILED) is a recreational cannabis legalization and regulatory bill. This bill was superseded by HB 1 and HB 837, which both passed.
HB 258 Employment Standards - Seating for Employees (Right to Sit Act of 2022) (WITHDRAWN) mandates that businesses provide seating for employees if the nature of their work can be reasonably performed while seated. This bill does not affect businesses that require workers to stand, move, or otherwise be active to complete their assigned duties. This simple measure reduces no one’s productivity and does not hurt the bottom line of any businesses. Forcing workers to stand when they do not have to, however, has cost Walgreen’s and Walmart millions in damages awarded through lawsuits by their workers. Walmart, alone, had to settle their case for $65 million in damages to over 80,000 employees.
HB 388 Prevailing Wage – University System of Maryland, Morgan State University, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland – Applicability (FAILED) applies Prevailing Wage to construction projects on Maryland’s publicly funded higher education campuses.
HB 432 Income Tax - Film Production Activity Tax Credit – Alterations (FAILED) increases the aggregate amount of film production activity tax credit certificates that the Secretary of Commerce may issue in fiscal year 2023 to $25,000,000 and for fiscal year 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter to $50,000,000. Increasing this tax credit is critical to ensuring a solid business climate – one that assures continued investment by the film industry in Maryland to create good jobs and grow our economy.
HB 439 (SB 374) Workers' Compensation - Occupational Disease Presumptions - 9-1-1 Specialists (FAILED) provides that a 9-1-1 specialist who is diagnosed by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist with post-traumatic stress disorder is presumed to have an occupational disease that was suffered in the line of duty or course of employment and is compensable under the workers' compensation law.
HB 457 Corporate Income Tax - Throwback Rule and Combined Reporting (FAILED) closes a corporate loophole (throwback rule) that allows companies to pay no taxes by selling over state lines by ensuring that each dollar of corporate income in Maryland is subject to taxation by a single state – without double taxation on the profits – by assigning income to Maryland for the purpose of calculating the company’s tax bill. States as varied as West Virginia and California follow this same procedure for taxing interstate business transactions. This bill puts Maryland small businesses on an equal footing with their large competitors, ensuring every entity is paying taxes on income earned. By not closing this loophole, Maryland is being shorted tens of millions of dollars in revenue on an annual basis. That shortfall in tax revenue must be picked up by the workers of Maryland, and it is time to provide them with relief by holding multi-state corporations accountable. This bill has been introduced multiple times, but never garners support in the General Assembly
HB 458 (SB 472) State Personnel - Collective Bargaining - Revisions and Budget Bill Appropriations (FAILED) is a constitutional bill that sends a referendum to the voters, to decide if state workers should be able to use binding arbitration – like millions of unionized workers currently have in their CBA’s. This constitutional change, if approved by the voters, would provide balance in the negotiations process, giving both parties every incentive to work toward a timely agreement.
HB 698 (SB 721) Labor and Employment - State Minimum Wage Rate – Increase (FAILED) increases the minimum wage to $15/hour starting Summer of 2022, to give more relief to low-paid workers and their families. The bill also removes the BPW from any ability to stop workers from getting the wages owed for their labor by repealing their authority to temporarily suspend increases to the State minimum wage.
HB 747 Maryland Health Care Commission - Nursing Homes – Audit (FAILED) mandates annual audits of Maryland’s nursing homes, focusing primarily on cost trends, labor issues, and financial performance. Audits are good practice for any industry, but for something as important as elder care, it is imperative that policymakers know what is going on, with accurate and timely data from our nursing homes
HB 770 Enoch Pratt Free Library - Collective Bargaining (WITHDRAWN) is enabling legislation that allows employees of the Enoch Pratt Free Library to form and join a union.
HB 849 (SB 671) Economic Development - Eligibility for State Job Creation Incentives (FAILED) applies “good jobs” language and labor standards to every business tax credit, inducement, or program in the State.
HB 988 Income Tax - Subtraction Modification for Classroom Supplies Purchased by Teachers – Alteration (FAILED) increases from $250 to $500 the maximum amount allowed as a subtraction modification under the Maryland income tax for expenses paid or incurred by certain teachers during a taxable year for classroom supplies.
HB 992 Income Tax - Earned Income Tax Credit - Alteration and Sunset Repeal (FAILED) stops the allowable percentage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to be used for the purposes of determining the refund from decreasing from 45% to 28% at the end of 2022. Instead, it keeps the allowable percentage at 45% permanently. Additionally, it sets the up the EITC to have annual cost-of-living adjustments, allowing it to keep pace with inflation,
SB 118 (HB 751) State Personnel - Collective Bargaining (FAILED) is enabling legislation that allows graduate students with the University System of Maryland Morgan State University, or St. Mary’s College of Maryland to form and join a union,
SB 208 Criminal Law - Assault of a Public Transportation Service Provider – Penalties (FAILED) imposes felony penalties for a physical assault on a transportation worker. These workers are the face of our transportation system – providing top-notch service to everyone who utilizes public transportation – and they deserve the same respect and protection afforded to other public employees who are at risk of being assaulted on the job.
SB 360 Corporate Tax Fairness Act of 2022 (FAILED) requires combined reporting and implementation of the corporate “throwback rule” to address corporate income that is not taxable in any state. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia use combined reporting, and, according to an analysis by the Maryland Center on Economic Policy, it would bring in $120 million, annually, in state revenues. More budget cuts cost the jobs of Maryland workers in public and private sectors, while eliminating the investments in education and transportation that we need to prosper in the future. With increased revenue through combined reporting, we can start to close our budget gap without having to sacrifice services to the people of Maryland. The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee took no action on the bill.
SB 361 Income Tax - Carried Interest - Additional Tax (FAILED)applies a 17% state income surtax on the pass-through income that is attributable to investment management services provided in Maryland. The bill attempted to address the enormous tax disparity between workers and those who derive their income through investments. Hedge fund and investment managers pay a lower tax rate than restaurant servers, state and county workers, nurses, bus operators, teachers, and everyone else in Maryland that works for a living. Carried interest income is taxed much lower than income derived from wages. This special treatment for those who make money by investing the income of others undermines the value of all our labor.
SB 530 (HB 431) Maryland Fair Scheduling Act (FAILED) applies a “fair scheduling” standard to food service and retail businesses that have at least ten locations nationwide. Many workers are struggling to create a work-life balance but are finding themselves at the whim of their employer. Studies and the industry’s own data demonstrate that fair scheduling promotes retention, better economic and well-being for the workers, and improves the industries’ staffing shortages. If our state values and respects the dignity of all work, the requirements within this bill should be completely non-controversial.
SB 692 Cannabis – Legalization and Regulation (Cannabis Legalization and Reparations for the War on Drugs Act) (FAILED) is a recreational cannabis legalization and regulatory bill. This bill was superseded by HB 1 and HB 837, which both passed.
Resolutions that affect Labor – One resolution was introduced in the 2022 Legislative Session that impacted unions and workers. Unions opposed this resolution, and no action was taken on it by either the Senate Rules Committee or House Rules Committee.
SJ 8 (HJ 6) United States Constitution - Amendments Convention - Limitations on Federal Power (FAILED) proposes an Article V Convention of States to re-write the Constitution with the purpose of limiting the power of the Federal government. An Article V Constitutional Convention would inject chaos and uncertainty into our government, and, ironically, would allow those corporate donors to run rough-shod over our Democracy. A convention opens the door to massive changes to our Constitution, without any clear direction or understanding of the consequences of those changes.