Opening Day & Veto Overrides
I hope that you and your family have had a wonderful holiday season and are staying warm during this very cold winter! As the new year gets underway, I look forward to once again representing you in Annapolis. The Maryland General Assembly convened on January 10th and will again run for the constitutionally required 90 days. One of the first order of business on the agenda was the vote to override or sustain two of Governor Hogan’s vetoes. I voted with the Governor on both of the bills.
2017 HB 1 LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT - MARYLAND HEALTHY WORKING FAMILIES ACT
There are some important points to consider regarding this bill:
1) This act does not cover unions or the construction industry - thus covering less than half the number of employee in Maryland
2) Combined with the rising minimum wage, this act will increase the cost of labor in business, keeps some business from expanding to 15 or more employees, and even encourage businesses to leave the state for less intrusive government regulations, or close their doors for good.
3) This legislation required victims of domestic violence to reveal this to their employer, violating their privacy rights.
4) This legislation does not take into consideration the employers who already do provide leave to their employees, and worse, does not provide a temporary waiver for struggling businesses to be given a chance to get on their feet.
5) Finally, the new law has a devastating impact on seasonal businesses (such as those in Ocean City), and makes the assumption that a business is guilty of a violation once a complaint is filed.
NOTE: Governor Hogan has introduced HB 98 Paid Leave Compromise Act of 2018 to fix the problems with the previous bill.
While the Legislature considers this and potentially other sick leave bills, the governor has committed to helping small businesses with this new law. The Governor has signed Executive Order 01.01.2018.04creating the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance to assist Maryland’s small business job creators in complying with House Bill 1. Business owners or workers seeking assistance should contact Small.Business@Maryland.gov
2017 HB 694 HIGHER EDUCATION - ADMISSIONS PROCESS - CRIMINAL HISTORY (MARYLAND FAIR ACCESS TO EDUCATION ACT OF 2017)
While this bill has the honorable intentions of giving people with a checkered past a second chance, it does so potentially by risking the safety of all of Maryland’s students.
By prohibiting higher education institutions from using criminal history on admission forms, they are potentially allowing for violent felons to walk campus grounds
As our state and nation work to address sexual assaults on campus, this legislation is a move in the wrong direction. It could make our campuses less safe by denying colleges and universities access to prospective students' criminal histories so they can make informed decisions not only about admissions but also campus policies.
New MVA Requirements for License Renewal.
Going to renew your driver’s license this year? You might notice that the MVA is now requiring additional proofs of identification. Per the press release sent out by MVA:
New Federal Requirements for January 2018 License/ID card Renewals at MDOT MVA
GLEN BURNIE, MD (November 1, 2017) –Marylanders should be on the lookout for renewal notices for their driver’s license and ID cards. As required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to maintain compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) will now require documentation to renew federally compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards.
“Maryland’s Secure ID driver’s licenses and ID cards have been recognized for their cutting-edge security features,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Christine Nizer. “Obtaining this required documentation from our customers is a necessary step in continuing to provide Maryland residents with the most secure card in the nation.”
Customers should look to their renewal notices to determine if documents are needed.
If documents are needed, the renewal notice will state documents are required to complete the renewal process and that the transaction must take place at an MDOT MVA branch.
MDOT MVA already has begun the notification process for driver’s licenses and ID cards that expire in January 2018. Customers who receive the documents-required notification can access a full list of acceptable documents on the MDOT MVA website at http://license.mva.maryland.gov.
The goal is to make this renewal process as easy as possible. This website allows residents to print a documents-required checklist and make an appointment at a specific MDOT MVA branch. Preparing ahead of time will speed up the renewal time at the MDOT MVA.
The REAL ID Act is a federal law that establishes certain minimum-security standards for license issuance and production. The cards that meet these standards are acceptable for federal purposes, such as boarding a commercial aircraft or gaining access to federal facilities.
To maintain compliance with the REAL ID Act, MDOT MVA must keep required documentation on file for those who have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card.
For more information about the REAL ID documentation requirement, visit http://www.mva.maryland.gov/realid/index.htm.
A few good reads: