H.B. 1134: Getting Trades Back in the Classroom

Last week, a college admissions scandal involving well-to-do families and elite colleges shocked and outraged the nation. But there’s an equally outrageous academic story that doesn’t get enough attention, and it’s been going on for years, too: The dismantling of trade programs at the high school level. When our children are young, we always tell them, you can be whatever …

FAMLI Program: Creating More Harm Than Good

The good intentions of Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program, HB 341, may be overshadowed by the long-term negative impact it would have not just on the construction industry, but also the small business community and Maryland’s economic bottom line.  The legislation would provide up to 12 weeks of benefits to an employee who is taking partially paid or …

Hogan Tax Breaks a Good Start, More Needed

By Mark McDaniel, president of NLP Enterprises and Chairman of the ABC Joint Legislative Committee A series of modest tax breaks promoted during Governor Larry Hogan’s recent State of the State address are a good start, but they don’t go far enough to make Maryland as economically competitive as our neighbors. There’s no denying the state of Maryland has turned an …

What to Expect in the 2019 Legislative Session

The Maryland General Assembly will convene in Annapolis Wednesday, for its annual 90-day session that runs through April 8th.  ABC members are not alone when asking the perennial question, “Well, what should I expect?”  Below are some of the business and construction issues that Maryland legislators have hinted at taking up during the 2019 session of the Maryland General Assembly. …

Legislative Reception brings together legislators and members

On February 24th, the four ABC Maryland chapters hosted its annual ‘We Build Maryland’ Legislative Reception at the Maryland Inn in Annapolis. The goal of the event is for members and legislators to interact and discuss legislation effecting member companies. Many legislators attended and discussed issues facing Maryland’s construction industry with industry leaders including: Workforce development: There exists no bigger issue …

What to Expect in the 2018 Legislative Session

Last session, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 1 (HB1), the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, an employer mandate concerning paid sick and safe leave (sick leave). Under the terms of HB 1, employers that employ 15 or more employees shall permit allow their employees, whether full or part time, to accrue after their first 106 days of employment …

Major Small Business and Merit Shop Wins, a Few Serious Hits, This Legislative Session

Small business interests and the merit shop construction industry were mostly well-served by Maryland legislators this legislative session. Here’s a breakdown of bills ABC supported and passed, opposed and were defeated, and those we still must convince the Maryland legislature they do more harm than good. Those with an asterisk* below were priority issues for ABC and given the most …

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing – Well-meaning Legislators Unleash Harmful Apprenticeship Bills

These days, it seems like every elected official in Maryland is talking about apprenticeship. As one of the largest providers of apprenticeship training in the state, and long-time advocates that public schools need to embrace career paths other than college for high school graduates, we are very encouraged. But while we are encouraged apprenticeship is getting some long-over-due respect, we …

Apprenticeship Training: How Trades Can Rebuild Maryland’s “Disconnected” Youth

By Mike Henderson, president ABC Baltimore For many youth and young adults in Maryland, the future doesn’t look bright. They lack the necessary education, work and life skills, and employment opportunities that could get them out of dire circumstances to build a better life. Some call them “disconnected youth.” Nearly 6.5 million teens and young adults (ages 16 to 24) …

Proposed Prevailing Wage Bills Stymie Small Business

Two new prevailing wage bills attempt to put several roadblocks in the path of small business success in Maryland. HB 466, Prevailing Wage-Tax Increment Finance Developments, wants to place prevailing wage on jobs funded by a TIF that are over $500,000. HB 466 was proposed as a direct result of the contentious debate on whether prevailing wage should be applied …