NEW STATE LAWS THAT GO INTO EFFECT JULY 1

ABC Legislative Alerts

Sure, there is a world-wide pandemic and Maryland was mostly shut down this past spring, but that didn’t stop legislators from doing what they do best: create new laws and regulations. The Maryland General Assembly passed more than 650 pieces of legislation in the 2020 Legislative Session, including several statewide and local bills that will directly or indirectly impact the construction industry.

For any questions concerning any of the following laws, please contact mhenderson@abcbaltimore.org

HB0001    Build to Learn Act This bill authorizes the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) to issue up to $2.2 billion in revenue bonds for public school construction projects in the State.     HB0012  / SB0341 Department of Veterans Affairs – Homes for Veterans – Veterans of Uniformed Service This bill expands eligibility to reside at a veterans home supervised by the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) to include a veteran who has an honorable discharge from active service with a uniformed service of the United States (rather than from the armed forces). 

HB0014 Equal Pay for Equal Work – Inquiring About Wages – Prohibition on Adverse Action This bill prohibits an employer from taking any adverse employment action against an employee for inquiring about the employee’s own wages.

HB0436 Task Force on the Economic Future of Western Maryland This bill establishes the Task Force on the Economic Future of Western Maryland to be staffed by the Department of Commerce. The task force must study the current economic conditions of Western Maryland (Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties) to (1) expand technology-based industries; (2) strengthen tourism-related businesses; and (3) create and expand new small businesses. The task force must report its recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by January 1, 2021. 

HB0566 / SB0713  Opportunity Zone Enhancement Program – Eligibility – Lead-Based Paint Affected Properties This bill alters the information that must be provided to the Department of Commerce in order to qualify for specified tax credit enhancements under the Opportunity Zone Enhancement Program to include information related to lead-based paint abatement.

HB0583  State Procurement – Payment of Employee Health Care Expenses – Revisions This bill (1) alters the definition of “subcontractor” as it relates to the payment of employee health care expenses by contractors and subcontractors on State construction projects and (2) extends less stringent compliance requirements by one year for contractors and subcontractors under current law.

HB0662 Department of General Services – Energy Consumption Goals and Energy Performance Contracts This departmental bill codifies and implements the requirements of the Governor’s Executive Order 01.01.2019.08, which requires that the State reduce energy consumption in State-owned buildings by 10% by 2029 compared with a fiscal 2018 baseline. It also institutes new requirements for State agencies that plan, pursue, and enter into an energy performance contract (EPC). 

HB0759 Historic Revitalization Tax Credit – Expansion – Rehabilitations of Common Elements of Condominiums and Cooperative Projects This bill allows the rehabilitation of a condominium or cooperative project to qualify for the historic revitalization small commercial tax credit. This credit only applies if (1) the rehabilitation is undertaken by the governing body of the condominium or cooperative housing corporation and (2) the rehabilitation focuses on the common elements of the structure. 

HB0862 Historic Revitalization Tax Credit – Transferability (Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2020) This bill allows the commercial tax credit for commercial and owner-occupied residential property rehabilitations to be transferable under the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Program.  

HB0980  Income Tax – Energy Storage Tax Credit – Alterations This bill alters the energy storage system tax credit by (1) increasing the maximum tax credit that may be claimed for a system installed on commercial property to $150,000 and (2) specifying that a person that owns or pays for the installation of a system that supplies electrical energy intended for a residential or commercial property may claim the tax credit.  

HB1026  Economic Development Programs – Data Collection, Tracking, and Reporting Requirements – Alteration This bill expands the definition of “economic development program” to include specified data collection, tracking, and reporting requirements under the Maryland Jobs Development Act to include four more tax credits. Additionally, by December 31, 2020, the Department of Commerce must establish, maintain, and annually update a publicly available database on the department’s website that provides related information on its economic development programs. 

HB1035 Bay Restoration Fund – Use of Funds – Municipal Wastewater Facilities This bill expands the authorized uses of the Bay Restoration Fund’s (BRF) Septics Account to include costs associated with connecting a property using a septic system to an existing municipal wastewater facility. This bill will only apply to facilities that (1) have signed a funding agreement with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and (2) are under construction to achieve enhanced nutrient removal (ENR) or biological nutrient removal level treatment.

HB1061 Capital Funding – Deferred Maintenance – Reporting Requirements This bill requires facility maintenance entities for convention centers or higher education institutions to supply an annual deferred maintenance report to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. This report is due by October 1 in each year after the State provided capital funding to the facility totaling at least $2 million in the operating and/or capital budget bills.  

HB1141 Labor and Employment – Apprenticeship Career Training Pilot Program for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals – Report This bill requires the Maryland Department of Labor (MDL) to report the Apprenticeship Career Training Pilot Program for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals to the Maryland General Assembly by September 30 each year. This report must include the number and types of employers that received grants, the grant amount by employer, the total number of apprentices and the number of apprentices that each participating employer maintained.   

SB0008  Subsequent Injury Fund and Uninsured Employers’ Fund – Assessment on Awards and Settlements – Amount This departmental bill alters the assessment on workers’ compensation awards and settlements that fund the Subsequent Injury Fund (SIF) and the Uninsured Employers’ Fund (UEF) by decreasing SIF’s share by 1% and increasing UEF’s share by 1%. The bill takes effect July 1, 2020 and terminates June 30, 2021.  

SB0119 Labor and Employment – Wage Payment and Collection – Order to Pay Wages This departmental bill requires a complaint of unpaid wages to claim at least $5,000 in order for the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to instruct an employer to pay the requested wages. Previously, the minimum requirement was $3,000 in unpaid wages. 

SB0442  Minority Business Enterprise Program – Public–Private Partnerships, Offshore Wind Projects, and Video Lottery Terminals This bill restores the applicability of the State’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program to public-private partnerships (P3s) and to offshore wind projects authorized under current law. This bill also extends the application of the MBE program to construction projects and video lottery terminal (VLTs) procurements until July 1, 2023 and requires the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to conduct analyses of the MBE’s P3s and offshore wind energy project requirements.  

SB0994   Department of Labor – Electricians – State Licensing Workgroup This bill requires the Maryland Department of Labor (MDL) to create a workgroup to study (1) electrician licensing issues and (2) electrical and low-voltage electrical service provisions in the State. The MDL must report the workgroup’s findings and recommendations to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee by December 1, 2020.