April Legislative Update


The Maryland General Assembly’s 2024 Session is entering its final week and major differences remain between Senate and House of Delegates leadership on how to balance this year’s $63 million operating budget and whether to address future anticipated budget shortfalls. Differences also remain over whether to tackle the State’s Transportation Trust Fund shortfalls. 

As part of its budget deliberations, the House has passed a $1.2 billion tax, fee, and gaming package to address both operating and transportation shortfalls. The House package includes a combined corporate tax reporting requirement, a bill establishing the framework for on-line casino games (pending voter approval), and a slew of transportation fees and taxes. The transportation package includes increased vehicle registration fees, a new fee on electric vehicles, sales tax on used car trade-ins, higher tolls for out-of-state drivers, and a new 75 cent fee on ride share trips. 

Both Governor Moore and Senate leadership have expressed opposition to broad-based taxes but have left room for negotiation on some revenue measures, most of which likely will be transportation related. The final week of Session will be dominated by negotiations on all of these issues. 

Below is an update on bills Maryland Works and its lobbying team are currently tracking: 

HB 60 – Rehabilitation Services – Disability – Definition.  This bill, for purposes of identifying individuals eligible for rehabilitative services, alters the definition of “disability” to more closely conform to related definitions under federal rehabilitation acts. The bill has passed both chambers and will head to Governor Moore’s desk for approval. 

HB 1516 – Real Property Assessments – Notice of Change in Value or Classification – Time Period.  This emergency departmental bill extends the statutory deadline for fiscal year 2025 by which the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) must send out reassessment notices to property owners, thereby resolving the unmailed notice issue involving SDAT and the League for People with Disabilities. The deadline extension is expected to be resolved either by passage of HB 1516 or by an amendment to another bill, possibly the omnibus Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act. 

SB 194 – State Procurement – Maryland Correctional Enterprises – Waiver Maryland Correctional Enterprises.  This bill authorizes the Pricing and Selection Committee to grant a waiver if the price of supplies and services offered by Maryland Correctional Enterprises (MCE) is at least 10% above market rates. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and is awaiting action in the House. 

SB 420/HB 1151 State Procurement – Preferred Providers – Removal of Maryland Correctional Enterprises.  This bill removes MCE from the Preferred Provider Program.  The Senate bill is not expected to pass, and the House bill has been withdrawn by the sponsor. 

SB 486 Correctional Services – Maryland Correctional Enterprises Management Council – Report.  This bill requires the MCE Management Council to research the number of private sector entities that offer goods and services also available from MCE, compare the cost of those goods and services, and review and comment on the potential benefits of the State utilizing private enterprises.  SB 486 has passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House.   

SB 599/HB 509 Developmental Disabilities – Community Providers – Federal Participation for Local Funds.  This bill requires the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to develop a process to receive federal financial participation for local governments who provide funding for community providers.  MDH expressed concern that the bill could unfairly benefit local governments who have the resources to assist community providers.  No action has been taken on either bill.   

SB 703/HB 877 – Board of Public Works – Transparency Dashboard.  As amended, this bill requires the Comptroller to development an interactive and searchable procurement transparency dashboard with specific information related to Board of Public agendas, contract spending amounts, as well information related to State procurement preference programs.  Both bills have been amended identically and are expected to pass.    

SB 859/HB 1163 State Department of Education – Division of Rehabilitation Services – Funding.  This bill authorizes the Governor to include a general fund appropriation to ensure the State match is met for federal funding for the Division of Rehabilitation Services.  Each bill has passed both chambers without amendment and will be submitted to the Governor for approval.  

Sine die, the final day of Session, is April 8th.