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MDMFG.org Chairman Rich Coursey and several manufacturers have worked together to keep legislative relief for manufacturers in front of Maryland Commerce. The combined Voice of Manufacturing is growing louder and both the Administration and many of our Legislators are now including you, the manufacturers in conversation as opposed to listening to those who self-claim to speak for manufacturers. Manufacturers are speaking for themselves.

As we learned first hand last year, it is extremely important that you contact your legislators to let them know the ramifications of their actions to your manufacturing business. Your voice as a manufacturer will make a difference. 

Send us your feedback. Let us know if you are in support or opposition and MDMFG.org will post your comments. Our goals as an organization is to give manufacturers a voice. We promise to publish both sides to any issue covered provided the position is presented by a manufacturer.

More Jobs for Marylander's Act of 2017 SB0317 and HB0394

This Bill originated two years ago with Senator Manno (D Montgomery) and was defeated. Last year Senator Manno again submitted a form of the Bill   with input from RMI but not directly from manufacturers. The result was a Bill that excluded existing manufacturers creating a hostile environment for manufacturers to operate. Governor Hogan submitted a similar Bill also during the last legislative session which was similarly harmful. Manufacturers from MDMFG.org flooded their legislators with opposition and a few manufacturers testified in opposition. Both Bills were defeated. The message isn't about the defeat of previous Bills, rather the Voice of Manufacturing coming from actual manufacturers is being heard.  

This year was different. The State included MDMFG.org in the discussions about legislative ideas. MDMFG.org submitted several of ideas that came directly from MDMFG.org manufacturers and two of the items were included in this omnibus Bill.

SB0317 offers a very attractive package of tax incentives for manufacturers who create or relocate to designated zones in Maryland. The Bill also offers the same benefits to existing manufacturers directly proportionate to their growth. The focus of most of the bill is clearly "Net New Faces" to Maryland manufacturers.

The biggest potential benefit is that the State recognizes and mirrors the Federal 179 deduction. Anyone who has read legislation understands it is confusing under the best of circumstances so we encourage each of you to read the Bill and interpret it for yourself.

Our interpretation of SB0317 is that it is a very good first step for manufacturers (new and existing) in Maryland. We would appreciate input from manufacturers on their interpretation. Recent conversations with SC&H revealed they are in the process of reviewing the same legislation. We offered to publish their interpretation. We encourage others like Hertzbach, McGladrey and others to offer their interpretation for publication.

At this time, several manufacturers are planning to testify in support of this Bill in Annapolis during the hearings in February. Support from other manufacturers would be appreciated. We want to send a clear message that Manufacturers Speak for Themselves and we as manufacturers will support or oppose legislation affecting us. Your voice in Annapolis makes a significant difference. 

PWQ - Partnership for Workforce Quality

This is not a Bill but we are told PWQ is being funded to $500k. This is matching training money. It is not clear who will administer the funds. MDMFG.org recommends strongly that State employees (Commerce or DLLR) administer the funds. Recent efforts allowing contractors to administer funds resulted in preferential treatment and a strong sales pitch for the contractor to used to provide the training. Most manufacturers will assert they had no idea PWQ was available at all during the past couple of years. Evidence that the distribution was targeted and not truly available to the public. 

Commonsense Paid Leave Act SB0305 and HB0382

This Bill submitted by the Governor appears to be harmful to many manufacturers (and other businesses). It requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide paid sick leave. While most manufacturers with more that 50 employees offer paid sick time in order to be competitive attracting employees, the salient point is that unused sick time can be carried forward and accumulated for several years. The Bill also mandates that employees may use the time for purposes other than sick time. The remaining balance appears to be payable to the employee upon their departure. This equates to mandated PTO and an uncontrollable financial liability moving forward. 

Healthy Working Families Bill  SB0230 and HB0001 

This Bill appears to be harmful to many manufacturers (and other businesses). With its roots in Baltimore City, the Bill requires companies with more than 15 employees to provide paid sick leave. Companies with less than 15 employees are eligible for a small discount but are also required to provide paid sick leave. While most manufacturers with more that 15 employees offer sick time, the salient point is that unused sick time can be carried forward and accumulated for several years. The Bill also mandates that employees can use the time for anything they choose and the remaining balance appears to be payable to the employee upon their departure. This equates to mandated PTO and an uncontrollable financial liability moving forward. 

Unemployment Insurance - Eligibility for Benefits - Business Operation Closings HB0141 

This Bill allows workers temporarily laid off for up to 10 weeks to file and receive unemployment without the requirement to look for work. Benefits are immediately available. The question is how to pay for the increased cost of unemployment. Will unemployment insurance costs increase to make up the shortfall?