Each year, G.S. Proctor & Associates compiles for our clients a detailed report analyzing key developments in the legislative process affecting the issues and industries that matter most in the state of Maryland.
In the coming days, we’ll share the details of the report in a series of posts focused on the various areas of interest. For those interested in seeing the complete report now, you can download a PDF here.
Maryland’s General Assembly has concluded its 444th Legislative Session brought on by the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the presence of a budget surplus approaching $6 billion, fueled in part by additional federal spending. From a policy perspective, 2022 shaped up to be the “five C’s” session — with Climate, Cannabis, COVID-19, Candidates and Care, topping the legislative agenda. “Care” being the fifth— with how to boost child care providers and whether to provide paid leave insurance for people caring for sick loved ones also on the agenda.
While not quite the 3,000+ bills from the recent sessions, there were 1,487 bills introduced in the House and 1,013 bills introduced in the Senate for a total of 2,500 bills introduced during this election-year session.
Governor Hogan’s State of the State highlighted his progress on key initiatives and successes over the past 8 years. Over the course of the Session, Governor Hogan expressed strong opinions about issues ranging from the invasion of Ukraine to his anticipated veto of state legislation advanced by the Democratically controlled legislature.
Additionally, Governor Hogan announced plans to use $6 billion in revenue surpluses to fund tax cuts for retirees, the manufacturing sector, and to help the State’s most vulnerable citizens meet basic needs.
Governor Hogan spent considerable time and energy articulating his displeasure with the General Assembly’s redistricting efforts. The decennial process suffered from a number of court challenges levied prior to and during the Session. Most legal challenges were based on the lack of compactness of the districts in the maps offered. Due to the timing of the challenges and the potential impact of legal findings, the courts accelerated review and expedited rulings. This outcome forced the Assembly to reconsider and redraw district maps — in the process delaying election filing deadlines and the primary election date. The General Assembly ultimately revised and passed a redistricting map Governor Hogan was comfortable signing.
The Climate Bill called for comprehensive steps to reduce emissions in commercial and
industrial buildings by the year 2030. The goal of this legislative initiative was to set the State’s greenhouse gas emissions to 60% of 2006 levels. The impact on businesses and property owners is anticipated to be significant, prompting several key business stakeholders to challenge legislative leaders on the impact and potential costs. Governor Hogan did not veto this legislation and allowed it to become law without his signature.
The General Assembly approved a Cannabis referendum this Session. The bill would put the issue on the ballot for the 2022 general election where Maryland voters will either legalize cannabis or leave it in its current decriminalized state. In anticipation of approval from voters in November, the General Assembly has already set up the legislative and policy frameworks to regulate the licensing, sale, taxation, and adjudication of this issue.
The Paid Family Leave bill allows Maryland workers to receive up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave. This legislation was heavily lobbied by businesses and organizations of all sizes.
Advocates intended for the bill to allow for employees with sick family members to have leave available to avoid the risk of loss of income or employment.
In this final report, you’ll find a summary of top legislative priorities for our clients this Session. The G.S. Proctor team invested significant time and energy in ensuring that our clients enjoyed similar levels of access during this “virtual session” as they have in more traditional legislative environments. Despite our transition from in-person to virtual meetings, we strengthened our legislative strategies for each of our clients concerning a wide range of issues that impacted our client communities. We believe our efforts to secure legislative outcomes and funding through a variety of state agencies and programs yielded significant benefits for our clients and the communities they serve.