Lawmakers are expected to tackle a number of issues this year.
Annapolis, Md (KM). Now that the 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session is underway, one of the first votes that’s expected to take place is an override of a veto by Governor Larry Hogan of a paid sick leave bill. The legislation passed in the last session would require employers with 15 or more employees to provide up to five days of earned paid sick leave.
Frederick County State Senator Ron Young (D) says he will vote in favor of an override. “One hour for every 30 hours they work, and a max of five days a year that they’re guaranteed some kind of leave. It’s not a very stringent requirement,” he says.
Governor Hogan is proposing a bill that would require employers with 25 or more employees to provide paid sick leave by 2020. It would also offer tax incentives of up to $100-million for employers with 50 or less workers to offer paid sick leave for their workforce.
Legislative officials say that veto override vote could take place on the second or third day of the session.
Young says one of the bills he will be proposing will provide free tuition at community colleges for students from working class families. “I want to see people have an opportunity to get a degree and also graduate without some enormous debt,” he said. “I’ve seen student debt some people have and it’s like they have a mortgage on a house but they don’t have a house.”
To pay for it, Senator Young has introduced a combined reporting measure to require chain stores and restaurants with headquarters outside of the state to pay taxes on the profits they make in Maryland. “Right now, they transfer their profits back to their home state and pay the taxes there. 23 states and Washington DC have combined reporting. You make money here, you pay taxes here,” he says.
A bill to help senior citizens is also on Senator Young’s list. This legislation will “phase out state taxes on seniors up to $75,000 a year if they make less than $100,000 in retirement.. It’s just on retirement income. If they’re working, they still pay taxes,” he says.
Young says Maryland is losing out when it comes to retaining senior citizens after they retire. “We have an awful lot of seniors retire and move to Pennsylvania, Delaware, Florida to avoid paying Maryland taxes,” he says. “If we keep them here, they’re still going to pay sales tax, property tax. And then the human capital. They volunteer and work in the community and we lose that when we leave.”
Also, Senator Young says he plans to introduce a resolution encouraging Maryland companies to put more women on their boards of directors. He says it’s a recommendation, not a mandate.
By Kevin McManus