Maryland Tech Council Legislative Update
Week Ending February 21, 2020

Business coalition formed between Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties on the proposed tax increases. Click here to read the joint letter that will be posted again, today.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
The House Economic Matters Committee held a hearing on House Bill 840: Joint Committee on Workforce Development. The bill establishes a Joint Committee on Workforce Development to evaluate the condition of Maryland’s public- and private-sector workforces, among other duties. MTC submitted written testimony in support of the bill, as it recognizes the need to continue investment in career and technology education programs and other workforce development programs

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
The Senate Finance Committee heard two online/digital consumer protection bills. In short, Senate Bill 443: Consumer Protection – Security Features for Connected Devices requires a manufacturer of a “connected device” to equip the device with a reasonable “security feature”. Senate Bill 957: Maryland Online Consumer Protection Act requires businesses that collect a consumer’s personal information to provide clear and conspicuous notices to the consumer at or before the point of collection. MTC submitted written testimony in opposition to both bills. While recognizing the importance of protecting online consumer data and providing certain security features for connected devices, MTC urged that these matters be resolved on the federal level. These bills and other related issues are the subject of a workgroup working on amendments.

In the House Ways & Means Committee, MTC registered its support for House Bill 489: Income Tax Credit – Student Employees, which creates a credit against the State income tax for a business that employs a student.

Thursday, February 20, 2020
The House Ways & Means Committee heard two bills specifically designed to help MTC members receive matching Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding. House Bill 514: Maryland Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Incentive Program helps foster job creation and economic development in the State by promoting the commercialization of research conducted by small businesses, facilitating the transfer of technology from universities and federal research laboratories to small businesses, and encouraging small businesses to apply for National Institutes of Health SBIR Grants and STTR Grants. Marty Rosendale appeared on the Sponsor’s panel to provide oral testimony in support of the bill. In addition, Cha-Mei Tang, President/CEO, Creatv Micro Tech and Amir Soltanianzadeh, CEO, Spine Align, LLC also provided oral testimony in support.

In addition, the committee heard House Bill 521: Maryland Small Business Innovation Research Technical Assistance Program – Establishment, which provides technical assistance to eligible small businesses to encourage and facilitate the receipt of grants under the federal SBIR and STTR programs. Marty Rosendale again appeared on the sponsor’s panel.

Both House Bill 514 and House Bill 521 are the product of a comprehensive 2019 summer study conducted by the Department of Commerce on the impact of the SBIR and STTR programs in Maryland. These bills have some chance at passage, though the fiscal notes for the bills are $1.3 million and $460,000 respectively, which may be an issue.

Friday, February 21, 2020
The committee heard House Bill 765: Maryland Tax Revision Commission, which must analyze the State’s current tax systems in terms of revenue productivity and stability, efficiency, simplicity of administration, and effect on the State’s economy and propose innovative solutions for meeting the State’s projected revenue needs while recommending potential modifications to tax rates, among other duties. MTC submitted written testimony in support of the bill because it takes the right approach to determine in what ways Maryland should revise its tax structure, particularly as it relates to giving balanced support and consideration to successful tax credit programs, such as the biotechnology and cybersecurity investor tax credits.


Wednesday, February 26, 2020, MTC will be hosting its annual Montgomery County Delegation Dinner.

MTC will be weighing in on over a dozen bills:
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
House Bill 869: Corporate Income Tax – Rate Reduction
House Bill 1088: Effective Corporate Tax Rate Transparency Act of 2020
Senate Bill 369: Workgroup to Study Maryland’s Emerging Digital Economy

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
House Bill 237: Commercial Law – Personal Information Protection Act – Revisions
House Bill 249: Consumer Protection – Right to Opt Out of Third-Party Disclosure
House Bill 307: Commercial Law – Consumer Protection – Biometric Identifiers and Biometric Information Privacy
House Bill 888: Consumer Protection – Security Features for Connected Devices
House Bill 957: Commercial Law – Maryland Net Neutrality Act of 2020
House Bill 1389: Maryland Personal Information Protection Act – Geolocation Information and Unfair, Abusive, and Deceptive Trade Practices

Thursday, February 27, 2020
Senate Bill 832: Procurement – Major Information Technology Development Projects

Friday, February 28, 2020
House Bill 695: Digital Advertising Gross Revenues – Taxation
House Bill 343: Economic Development – Maryland Technology Infrastructure Program
House Bill 1239: Economic Development – Maryland Technology Partnership Program