The bell rang to mark the opening of the 444th Maryland legislative session. As we continue to advocate for business in the shadow of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that the voice of Maryland business is heard by our lawmakers in Annapolis and Washington, D.C. My team at the Maryland Chamber is hard at work to be your voice, because you are driving our economy, creating jobs and generating opportunity for so many across our state.
The legislative session presents another opportunity to educate lawmakers about challenges employers are facing, and the positive steps being taken to advance economic recovery and growth. We have identified two legislative priorities to guide our strategy and advocacy efforts this session:
1) Digital Products Tax Clarification – The ‘digital products tax’ passed in 2019 with broad language leading to compliance challenges. The Chamber’s internal working group along with external stakeholders have developed legislative language to provide clarity and aid in compliance while maintaining legislative intent.
2) Increasing Child Care Availability – We support passing legislation that incentivizes the opening of new childcare facilities and the expansion of existing ones. New and expanded childcare facilities will allow more Marylanders to get back to work, helping with the broader workforce shortage.
In addition to these two major priorities, we will continue to focus on policies supporting economic stability and recovery while fighting off those that create obstacles and added costs to doing business in our state. Equally important will be our engagement with Build Back Better and other federal initiatives impacting Maryland. Although this bill has little momentum at this time, Senate negotiations continue to try to breathe life into it. The Maryland Chamber firmly believes this bill would increase inflation and harm our economic recovery, and we will advocate on your behalf against it.
These issues, and many others, will be addressed during the 2022 session…and we need your help. Your contributions to our advocacy efforts are extremely important as the Maryland General Assembly debates major policy proposals such as new and additional leave mandates, tax changes and rolling back economic development incentives. Member advocacy is critical to ensuring state legislators fully consider the economic costs of those policy decisions.
If you haven’t already, join our ACTION NETWORK, and be alerted when action is needed on critical issues that affect your business. As part of our network, in just a few clicks you can email, call or tweet at your legislators to let them know where you stand on an issue.
Our eleven policy committees meet regularly to review legislation that will impact our 5,500+ members – small business owners, titans of industry and everyone in between. We encourage all our members to become involved, join a committee and maintain an active role in influencing the public policy that affects your business and community.
Our door is always open to you, our valued members, and we ask you be vocal about your challenges and interests so we can advocate most effectively for you. As members, you have exclusive access to our 2022 Bill Tracker by logging in to our Member Portal, which will keep you updated in real-time on our efforts and successes on behalf of the business community.
Building a stronger Maryland will take our collective voice and collaborative efforts. Together, we will make Maryland the best place to live, work and own a business.
Sincerely, Mary D. Kane
President & CEO Maryland Chamber of Commerce