Week Ending February 19, 2021

There were several of bills of interest to the Maryland Tech Council that were heard last week. Senate Bill 444/House Bill 658: Transforming Manufacturing in a Digital Economy Workgroup (Making it in Maryland) was heard by both the House and Senate. Similar legislation was considered in 2020 and the legislation established a Workgroup that is charged with a wide variety of issues to examine and on which to make recommendations, such as higher education curriculums, related professional research, public-private partnerships, apprenticeships, State grant funding levels, new tax credits, and the State’s current statutory and regulatory authority over manufacturing. The Workgroup composition includes a representative from MTC as requested when the bill was heard in 2020.

MTC CEO Marty Rosendale testified on behalf of MTC on House Bill 987: Economic Development – Comprehensive Technical Assistance Program – Establishment, which creates a comprehensive technical assistance program in the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. The program proposed in House Bill 987 will provide a framework to support emerging businesses who could benefit from technical assistance and mentoring services. An amendment was offered to include assisting small businesses with attracting and accessing private capital to the charges of the Workgroup.

Other bills of interest to MTC which were heard include Senate Bill 460: Economic Development – Advanced Clean Energy and Clean Energy Innovation Investments and Initiatives, which was heard in the House last week; House Bill 650: Minority Business Enterprises – Sexual and Gender Minorities (Imari’s Business Pride Act), which includes sexual and gender minorities in the definition of minority business enterprises; and House Bill 653: Joint Committee on Workforce Development which was similar to Senate Bill 357 which was heard last week.