Moving Forward in Maryland

220px-Larry-HoganMaryland Gov. Larry Hogan has had to meet some extraordinary challenges in the past few days, declaring a state of emergency to address the volatile situation in Baltimore that resulted from the death of a Baltimore resident while in police custody.

As this is being written, the strong leadership of the new governor and the spirit and determination of the people of Baltimore gives us all confidence that this great American city will unite to meet today’s challenges and lift Maryland’s largest city to new heights in the future.

Gov. Hogan already is putting a foundation in place to guarantee that bright future, not just for Baltimore, but for the rest of MD as well. He’s put his signature on 10 new bills designed to encourage economic development and job growth in Maryland.

The package includes:

HB 939: Proposed Regulations – Determination of Impact on Small Businesses, which establishes the Advisory Council on the Impact of Regulations on Small Business in the Department of Business and Economic Development.

HB 940: Office of the Business Ombudsman – State Customer Service and Business Development Efforts Training Program, which establishes the State Customer Service and Business Development Efforts Training Program to improve customer service provided by state agencies to businesses and customers in the state.

HB 941: Task Force to Study Exemptions from Higher Education Ethics Requirements and Procurement Rules to Facilitate Technology Transfer, which establishes the aforementioned task force to review, study, and make recommendations regarding economic development activities, the purchase of research equipment and supplies, and the hiring of research personnel.

HB 942: Apprenticeship Pilot Program – Apprenticeship Maryland, which establishes a two-year pilot program to prepare students to enter the workforce.

HB 943: Economic Competitiveness and Commerce — Restructuring, which renames the Department of Business and Economic Development to the Department of Economic Competitiveness and Commerce and establish an Office of the Secretary of Commerce in the Office of the Governor.

SB 816: Maryland Higher Education Outreach and College Access Pilot Program, which targets low-income Maryland high school students and aims to increase the number of these students attending and succeeding in college.

SB 868: Public Utilities – Transportation Network Services and For-Hire Transportation, also known as the “Uber bill,” which authorizes the establishment of transportation network services in the state.

HB 235: Vehicle Laws – Manufacturers and Distributors – Sale of Electric or Non-fossil-Fuel-Burning Vehicles, also known as the “Tesla bill,” which authorizes a manufacturer or distributor to be licensed as a vehicle dealer if the manufacturer or distributor deals only in electric or nonfossil-fuel-burning vehicles.

HB 846: Motor Vehicle Administration – Commercial Driver’s License – Program for Veterans and Service Members (Troops to Trucks), which requires the Motor Vehicle Administration to establish a program to assist veterans and members of the military transitioning out of military service to obtain a commercial driver’s license, and would require the MVA to waive a skills test for participants.

HB 164: Judgments – Appeals, a pro-small-business bill that limits the amount of a bond that a small business would have to post to proceed with an appeal or verdict.

Business Facilities looks forward to reporting on the impact of these measures as Maryland moves ahead on Gov. Hogan’s growth agenda.