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.
The Maryland Municipal League (MML) adopted priorities for the 2022 Legislative Session included the following:
- Continue to advocate for the return and protection of municipal highway revenues;
- Ensure municipalities have the option of creating their own Police Accountability Boards and Committees, following last year’s new law enforcement policy changes; and
- Climate change mitigation.
It’s been 12 long years since local government funding was drastically cut back while the state’s budget was in crisis. While most service cuts were restored as times got better, the diversion of local funds never was. Maintenance schedules have been abandoned, safety projects stalled, and even road-clearing efforts have been strained. It is their desire for the state to go back to the fair 70/30 formula split that worked well for decades.
There are two bills introduced aimed to correct this issue (HB1187/SB726) aiming to correct this problem. The passage of HB1187/ SB726 will increase the share of funds from the Gasoline and Motor Vehicle Revenue Account that the Maryland Department of Transportation must annually provide to local governments through capital transportation grants from fiscal 2024 through 2027. The bill takes effect July 1, 2022 and will restore highway user revenues back to local governments and make this a fair part of Maryland’s future infrastructure planning.
The Police Accountability Boards, mandated by state law passed in the 2021 Legislative Session, will review complaints of misconduct by police officers in Maryland’s county and municipal law enforcement agencies. The passage of the 2021 mandate was to set aside ideology and partisanship, and focus on interest rather than positions, to seek a greater accountability while ensuring fairness to those who serve and protect. However, HB1184 was introduced by MML to revise the state law relating to Police Accountability Boards and Administrative Charging Committees and gave municipalities the option to create their own Boards and Committees.
HB1184 failed to get the approval of the Maryland General Assembly. SB528/CH0038, the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, will take effect without the Governor’s signature and the passage reflects the growing public concern about the impacts of climate change. The legislation sets aggressive goals for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland and establishes new policies to help achieve that goal, including requiring more building electrification, creating a “green bank” that would invest state funds into private projects that reduce gas emissions and expanding the state electric vehicle fleet.
The unprecedented Act calls for Maryland to reduce greenhouse gasses by 60% by 2031 and for the Maryland economy to reach net-zero emissions by 2045, declaring it the most ambitious climate change law adopted by any state in the country.