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Maryland Works Legislative Wrap-Up

The 2022 Maryland Legislative Session concluded on April 11th with the usual flurry of activity, but much of the typical sense of urgency was missing as most major issues were resolved the prior week, including a major tax reduction package and passage of the operating and capital budgets. Other major issues resolved long before “Sine Die” included broad climate change legislation, a ban on the sale and possession of untraceable “ghost” guns, as well an expansion of the state’s abortion laws and the establishment of a statewide paid family and medical leave program for millions of workers.
 

Below is an update on legislation affecting the Preferred Providers Program and disability community generally:

 

Senate Bill 93, which expands the Maryland disability employment tax credit by increasing the maximum value of the tax credit that can be claimed for each qualified employee, passed and is awaiting approval by Governor Hogan. 

 

Among other mostly technical changes to Maryland’s procurement law, Senate Bill 461/House Bill 723 consolidates pricing authority for Maryland Correctional Enterprises under the pricing and selection committee that was originally formed to set prices for the Employment Works Program, and expanded several years ago to include Blind Industries of Maryland. Both bills passed after the Senate and House resolved minor language differences in the final hours of Session.

 

House Bill 660 establishes a Commission to Study the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS). The bill passed after minor differences were reconciled on the final day of Session. The Commission takes effect June 1, 2022, and is required to meet at least five times this year. The Commission’s final report is due by December 15, 2022.

 

SB 868/HB1020 requires the Developmental Disabilities Administration, in consultation with stakeholders, to establish and provide training materials to coordinators of community services (CCSs) specifically on the self-directed services model of receiving services. As part of developing a “person-centered plan of service,” a CCS must educate the recipient on all models of service available to the recipient, as specified. Both bills passed and await approval by Governor Hogan.

 

Senate Bill 248/House Bill 450 required each State procurement unit to include the dollar value of its contracts with Maryland Correctional Enterprises in the total dollar value of its procurements for the purpose of calculating the unit’s performance relative to the State’s minority business enterprise goal. Similar bills were also introduced during the 2021 Session, and like last year, no action was taken on either bill.  

 

Senate Bill 872 repealed the requirement that state universities purchase, to the maximum extent practicable, supplies or services from the state’s designated preferred providers.  Following direct engagement by Maryland Works and its Annapolis-based lobbyist, the sponsor acknowledged the bill’s application to the Employment Works Program was unintentional and offered amendments to delete the offending provision. The bill did not pass, but the sponsor indicated an interest in exploring legislation next year specific to Maryland Correctional Enterprises.

 

2022 is of course an election year, and a significant political realignment likely awaits. In addition to all 188 seats in state legislature being up for grabs, Maryland will elect a new governor, attorney general, and comptroller. Additionally, a new state treasurer, Dereck Davis, was selected by the General Assembly in December.

 

The Gubernatorial Primary Election Day is July 19th, and the General Election date is November 8th.

Source: Manis, Canning & Associates