Maryland Works Legislative Update
After a slow start, activity has picked up dramatically as the first month of the 2023 Session draws to a close. Following a month of mostly informational briefings and new members getting acclimated to the pace and routine of the 90-Day Session, bill introduction deadlines now loom in both the Senate and House that will result in the annual avalanche of bills “dropped in the hopper” on deadline day. Over 2000 bills will be introduced, and the long afternoons of bill hearings will soon dominate the daily work of the legislature.
Governor Moore delivered his first State of the State speech on February 1st, focusing his remarks on a broad theme of public service that includes the creation of the Department of Service and Civic Innovation to create service opportunities for younger Marylanders. Other initiatives Governor Moore pledged to focus on include rebuilding a state government struggling with thousands of vacant positions, creating a program to recruit new teachers with improved pay, and targeting poverty by extending the enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit and expanding the Child Tax Credit.
Few bills impacting either Maryland Works or the Preference Program have been introduced. For the third straight year, Senator Antonio Hayes (D-Baltimore City) has introduced legislation (Senate Bill 438) requiring 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 (MBE) goal. No action was taken on this bill in prior years. We expect a companion House version to be introduced soon. The lobbying team will continue to monitor this bill and other bills as they are introduced.
Source: Manis, Canning & Associates