Last week marked the first full week of Session. The major event this week was the release of the Governor’s FY2021 budget, which he has deemed the “Accountability Budget.” Under this budget, growth is limited to one percent with increases dedicated mainly to education and public safety initiatives.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020:
MTC submitted written testimony in opposition to Senate Bill 122: Economic Development – Opportunity Zone Incentives – Alteration of the More Jobs for Marylanders and Opportunity Zone Enhancement Programs, which changes eligibility requirements for access to enhanced incentives under the Opportunity Zone Enhancement Program. Most notably, it limits the enhanced tax benefits available under the Opportunity Zone Enhancement Program to tax years 2019 through 2021 and restricts eligibility for the enhanced benefits under the biotechnology investment incentive and cybersecurity investment incentive tax credit programs to investments made in a company that is established or expands into an opportunity zone on or after March 1, 2018, among other changes. The bill is in small part an effort to raise revenue to fund the Kirwan recommendations and also a response to the negative 2018 and 2019 evaluations and audits of the Biotechnology Tax Credit. Nevertheless, according to the Department of Commerce, no one has made application to this enhanced incentive, so the present impact of this bill is likely minimal.
Monday, January 27, 2020:
The Department of Legislative Services will present an analysis of the budget to members of both the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee will hear Senate Bill 120: State Government – Department of Information Technology – Cybersecurity, which expands the responsibilities of the Secretary of the Department of Information Technology to include
- advising and consulting with the Legislative and Judicial branches of State government regarding a cybersecurity strategy
- in consultation with the Attorney General, advising and overseeing a consistent cybersecurity strategy for units of State government, including institutions under the control of the governing boards of the public institutions of higher education, counties, municipal corporations, school districts, and all other political subdivisions of the State.