The 2018 Session of the Maryland General Assembly adjourned Sine Die at midnight on Monday, April 9th. This last year of Governor Hogan’s first term saw the largest number of bills introduced (3,198 combined from both the House and Senate) in over a decade. With all statewide offices and General Assembly seats up for election in the primary (June 26th) and the general election (November 6th), much of the legislative activity unfolded in front of a backdrop of six rivals vying for the Democratic nomination for Governor, a number of announced retirements by legislators, and still more legislators filing to run for local and federal office.

One of the most significant actions took place early in the session when the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto of Maryland Healthy Working Families Act which requires many employers to provide mandatory paid and unpaid sick leave for their employees. This new law became effective February 11th and is estimated to affect about 700,000 employees in the State.

For the third year, the General Assembly passed a number of bills relatively early in the Session so they would have the ability to override any veto while still in session. The Governor allowed most of those bills to pass into law without his signature. The one bill vetoed during the Session, concerning accountability in education, was overridden

PROCUREMENT LEGISLATION – PASSED

HB 546/SB 278 – Prevailing Wage – Tax Increment Financing Developments – Application

This bill requires that prevailing wages be paid for the construction of a public structure or work, as defined by the bill, that is (1) located in a tax increment financing (TIF) district created on or after July 1, 2018 and (2) built using proceeds from local government bonds authorized in statute for use in those districts. However, the bill applies only if a political subdivision, Baltimore City, or the Revenue Authority of Prince George’s County authorizes the payment of prevailing wages for the relevant construction project.

Result: Passed. The bill takes effect July 1, 2018, and applies only to contracts executed on or after that date.

Copy of Bill – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/bills/hb/hb0546T.pdf
Fiscal Note – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/fnotes/bil_0008/sb0278.pdf

SB 492 – Procurement – Responsible Workforce Development Percentage Price Preference Act

As originally introduced, this bill established a procurement price preference of at least 4% for a responsive bid for which the responsible bidder or subcontractor certifies that its total payments for employee health care expenses are at least 6.5% of the aggregate wages paid by the bidder or subcontractor.

As passed, the price preference provisions are stricken. Instead, BPW must collect information from construction-related contract awards showing whether the bidder is providing health care coverage to workers on the project. BPW shall report by November 1, 2018.

Result: Passed. The bill takes effect July 1, 2018.

Copy of Bill – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/bills/sb/sb0492T.pdf
Fiscal Note – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/fnotes/bil_0002/sb0492.pdf

HB 858/SB 251 – Minority Business Enterprises – Required Regulations – Liquidated Damages Prohibition

This bill requires that regulations governing the State’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program prohibit a State agency from assessing liquidated damages against contractors under indefinite delivery contracts if the unit fails to request work that would have been performed by the MBE. The bill does not impair any existing obligation or contract right.

Result: Passed. The bill takes effect October 1, 2018.

Copy of Bill – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/bills/hb/hb0858T.pdf
Fiscal Note – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/fnotes/bil_0008/hb0858.pdf

HB 1243 – Prevailing Wage Rates – Public Work Contracts – Suits by Employees

This bill authorizes an employee under a public work contract who is paid less than the appropriate prevailing wage to sue to recover the difference in wages paid without first filing a complaint with the Commissioner of Labor and Industry. A determination by the commissioner that a contractor is required to make restitution does not preclude the employee from a private cause of action.

Result: Passed. The bill takes effect October 1, 2018.

Copy of Bill – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/bills/hb/hb1243T.pdf
Fiscal Note – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/fnotes/bil_0003/hb1243.pdf

SB 245 – Procurement – Security Requirements – Forms

This bill requires the Board of Public Works to adopt regulations that establish separate forms for security for construction contracts and contracts for supplies, services, or construction-related services. The latter forms must provide for annual and renewable contracts.

Result: Passed. The bill takes effect October 1, 2018.

Copy of Bill – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/bills/sb/sb0245T.pdf
Fiscal Note – http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/fnotes/bil_0005/sb0245.pdf

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