2019 Lobbyist Report No. 2

Here’s what you need to know about the week ahead and a recap of what happened last week.
Briefings continued last week and will continue in the coming week. A reminder that all briefings are public and you can watch them at any time. Have a subject matter you’re interested in learning more about? Ask us and we’ll get you to the right day/website. These briefings are incredibly helpful overviews of where our state agencies have been and where they are headed. This week we heard from the Lottery/Gaming Commission, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the Kirwan Commission – to name a few. We have notes on many topics in Annapolis for our wide range of clients, ask us!
Also this week we enjoyed the Mountain Maryland PACE reception and breakfast. PACE (Positive Attitudes Change Everything) is a tradition in Annapolis and many of our Western Maryland friends from Garrett and Allegany Counties travel down to see us. We also saw Maryland’s Chamber advocates on Wednesday and many business folks were walking the halls (and dare I say, armed with talking points regarding their views on the minimum wage and the corporate tax rate). Here’s a good article that illustrates some of the debate over minimum wage.
This week, as briefings continue, we also begin to get into some early bill hearings. Bills are often heard in the order they are filed. It isn’t an exact science but typically if a bill is dropped into the hopper early in session, a hearing happens earlier too. Within those early bills we have some medical cannabis legislation from Del. Cheryl Glenn that will start the session work on this issue. We also will hear a briefing on Opportunity Zones in the Budget and Taxation Committee – this is going to be an important topic to follow the money! Check out more on Maryland’s Opportunity Zones here.
MACo and MML will provide an overview of local aid to the Ways and Means Committee. You can read their platforms on their sites – learn more!
Finally, here is your link to the Fiscal Briefing we highlighted earlier this week. Happy reading! Just kidding, we’re working on a summary with bullets. 🙂
Have a great week –
Here are a few of our favorite news stories from the week and what people were talking about: 
– We played host to an additional important person this week in Annapolis. Week 1 we saw Gov. Jeb Bush. Week 2, Mayor Michael Bloomberg
– Some lawmakers expressed concern that as Tubman and Douglas landmarks are installed, out-of-state non-MBE vendors will complete the work. Read the Baltimore Sun story here… 
– The Government Shutdown is over-ish … our Annapolis folks will be moving on to other topics of discussion for the time-being, until talks devolve and we do this all over again? (hopefully not)
Here are 3 things you should know heading into the week: 
1. It is going to be cold. Again. Our hearing rooms in Annapolis are 145 degrees though so feel free to come on down! One hot topic will be Labor. The Department of Labor that is. It looks like the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (affectionately called “Dollar”) is going to be renamed as simply, the Department of Labor. Check out the Department-sponsored bill here.
2. Our client, the Town of Hancock, has their town elections tomorrow (Monday). We wish the candidates well and say happy voting to our friends out in Western Maryland!

3. You’re going to be hearing a lot more about the Chesapeake Bay and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). TMDL is a regulatory term in the U.S. Clean Water Act and Maryland needs to do A LOT to meet the requirements by law by 2025 (that’s six years). You can get a head start and learn more from the Maryland Department of the Environment here

Just for Fun: 
Want to know what we know? The Department of Legislative Services publishes a handbook for legislators. There are 9 volumes and we’re going to start a nerd study group/book club for anyone interested in learning more. Reply to this email and let us know. Conference calls will be set up for Mondays and we can go through the manuals together. If you’ve already signed up, I gotcha! We’re giving it another week for some more folks to join in the fun.