2013 End of Session Report


Download the report (Word document, 165KB, download Word viewer for free)

View testimony for EARN and the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013

April 9, 2013


In January, Governor O'Malley presented a robust legislative package and responsible FY 2014 budget. It focused efforts to protect the progress we've made and positions Maryland for greater job creation, opportunity expansion, and economic growth in the years ahead. Highlights of the Administration and DLLR's budget and legislative agenda are:


To help more Marylanders obtain the skills they need for innovation sector jobs, the O'Malley-Brown Administration is investing $4.5 million in the new Employment Advancement Right Now Program (EARN), an initiative that will foster workforce training collaborations between businesses and government in key sectors. EARN will create jobs by preparing Maryland's workforce to succeed in the 21st century, especially in key industry sectors such as cyber technology, healthcare and wellness, construction, and manufacturing. EARN will provide funding for workforce training collaborations between businesses, local government, and non-profits so that Maryland's working families have the skills necessary for employment advancement in sustainable jobs. As a result of such training, EARN will create jobs by closing the gap between the workforce needs of employers and the skills of Maryland's workforce.

EARN is established and administered by DLLR in consultation with DBED and BWIB to provide competitive grants for specified industry partnerships and training programs. DLLR must also develop and implement a State employment advancement strategy, in consultation with DBM, and develop a "Train Maryland" website in consultation with DBED and DoIT.

On or before December 31 each year, DLLR will report to the Governor and the Senate Finance and House Economic Matters Committees on specifics outlined in law. DLLR must convene a workgroup of stakeholders to advise on the development and implementation of EARN and DLLR must provide to individuals receiving or applying for unemployment benefits information on the EARN program.
View testimony

The Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013

This Administration bill facilitates professional licensing for active military personnel, veterans, and their spouses through the expedited issuance of specified licenses, registrations, and certificates. To expedite the renewal or change of status of a mortgage loan originator license for a service member, veteran, or military spouse, the Commissioner of Financial Regulation in DLLR must waive, as applicable, the State criminal history check and may waive or suspend any other licensing requirements to the extent that the waiver or suspension does not result in the failure to meet specified federal minimum licensing standards. Identical provisions apply to expedite the issuance of a license to a service member, veteran, or military spouse who holds a valid mortgage loan originator license in another state. The commissioner must publish on the commission's website the expedited processes for the issuance, renewal, or change of status of a license issued under the bill. Occupational and professional licensing boards in DLLR is authorized to issue a temporary license to service members, veterans, and military spouses under certain circumstances, unless doing so would pose a risk to public health, welfare, or safety. A temporary license is valid until the earlier of six months after the date of issuance or the date on which a decision on a permanent license is made. There are certain requirements that must be met, in addition to payment of an application fee. In calculating an individual's years of practice in an occupation or profession, each unit and board must give credit for all relevant experience. Each unit or board must publish on its website the process for obtaining a temporary license or, if applicable, the process for obtaining a permanent license. On or before January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2015, participating state agencies shall report to the General Assembly on the implementation of this Act.
View testimony


The budget increases funding for Adult Education initiatives that enhance employment opportunities by helping individuals earn their high school diploma and continue their education or training at the post-secondary level: $1m. in general funds for Literacy Works grants, and $505,000 to keep the cost of taking the GED exam affordable for the nearly 10,000 Marylanders who annually seek the credential.


The Governor's budget includes $2.2m. for the Maryland Longitudinal Data System (MDLS) Center, which will be launched in spring 2013 and fully funded in FY 2014. The Center will collect and analyze education and workforce data on each individual student in Maryland to determine how students are performing and to what extent they are prepared for higher education and the workforce. Center data will be made available online to researchers, policy makers, parents, students, educators, and the public.


The FY 2014 allowance for DLLR totals $341.3 million, an increase of $12.3 million, or 3.8% over FY 2013. Operating budget (HB 100) amendments were adopted to include language to withhold $150,000 of DLLR's administrative appropriation as a result of repeat findings in the most recent fiscal compliance audit issued by OLA, in accordance with procedures established by the Joint Audit Committee. DLLR must take corrective action on or before January 1, 2014; and a report must be submitted to the budget committees by OLA listing each repeat audit finding along with a determination that each repeat finding was corrected. The budget committees shall have 45 days to review and comment to allow for funds to be released prior to the end of fiscal 2014.

Included in the operating budget bill was the Supplemental Budget # 1 released on April 1, 2013: 1) $2 million additional funds for EARN; 2) $496,573 for regulatory oversight of horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering at Rosecroft Raceway; 3) $840,000 for summer jobs programs for Maryland youth; and $500,000 for adult literacy grants.

The budget contingency language for EARN was satisfied by the passage of the legislation.

The Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2013 (HB102) included modifications in the distribution of racing revenue impact aid to provide for pro-rata allocations of local impact grants if revenues are insufficient.

The budget bills were adopted April 5, 2013.

Successful Administration Bills

HB226 - Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013

HB227 - Maryland Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN)

SB276 - Death Penalty Repeal & Appropriations from Saving to Aid Survivors of Homicide Victims

HB100 - Budget Bill (Fiscal year 2014)

HB102 - Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2013

HB229 - State Aid for Public Education- Certification of Net Taxable Income

HB5560 - Public- Private Partnerships

HB224 - Election Law- Improving Access to Voting

HB228 - Maryland Health Progress Act of 2013

HB863 - Higher Education Fair Share Act

HB0101- Creation of State Debt- MD Consolidated Capital Board Loan of 2012 & the MD consolidated Capital Bond Loans of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012

HB1515 - Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act

SB281- Firearm Safety Act of 2013

HB115 - Creation of State Debt- Qualified Zone Academy Bonds

Successful Departmental Bills and other bills of interest:

Financial Regulation

HB225/SB273(ADM) - Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013

HB291/SB383 - Stopping Fraud in Mortgage Assistance Relief Services - Requires a mortgage assistance relief service provider providing mortgage assistance relief services to comply with federal regs. The bill gives the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, the AG, and the State's Attorneys authority over violations of the bill. The bill creates a private right of action for damages incurred. The bill expresses legislative intent to implement in State law the consumer protections available under federal regs governing mortgage assistance relief service providers. The bill does not have any effect on the authority of the Commissioner to regulate or take any enforcement action against these providers. The bill takes effect July 1, 2013.

HB785/SB375 - Maryland Credit Services Business Act/Scope - This bill narrows the scope of the Maryland Credit Services Businesses Act by excluding a State-licensed associate real estate broker or real estate salesperson from the definition of "credit services business."

SB199/HB88 - Refinance Mortgage-Junior Liens - This bill authorizes a mortgagor or grantor to refinance the full amount of the unpaid indebtedness secured by a first mortgage or deed of trust on residential property for a lower interest rate than provided for in the evidence of indebtedness secured by the first mortgage or deed of trust without the permission of the holder of a junior lien, as defined by the bill, if (1) the principal amount secured by the junior lien does not exceed $150,000 and (2) the principal amount secured by the refinance mortgage does not exceed the unpaid outstanding principal balance of the first mortgage or deed of trust plus $5,000. The bill applies prospectively and does not apply to a refinance mortgage recorded or having an effective date before the bill's October 1, 2013 effective date.

Unemployment Insurance

HB348 - Employer Contributions- Application for Refund/Adjustment (DEPT) - Allows employers an additional year to submit an application for refund or adjustment for UI contributions paid.

HB354 - Recovery of Benefits - Monetary Penalty for Fraud (DEPT) - Authorizes DLLR to impose an additional monetary penalty on claimants who fraudulently obtain UI benefits.

HB583 - Relief from Charges for Overpayment of Benefits/Restrictions (DEPT) -
Prohibits DLLR from removing recoverable UI benefits charged to an employer if the benefit was paid as a result of the employer's failure to provide timely or adequate information related to a claim and the employer has not shown good cause for failure to provide the information.

HB955/SB888 - Task Force to Study Temporary Disability Insurance Programs - Establishes the Task Force, specifies the membership, and requires the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House to appoint members to the task force. The chairperson is designated by the Governor. The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) must provide staff support for the task force. A final report with findings and recommendations is due by December 1, 2013, to the Governor and the General Assembly. The bill takes effect June 1, 2013, and terminates May 31, 2014.

Occupational and Professional Licensing

SB66 - MHIC-Membership/Quorum/Meetings (DEPT) - Increases the membership of MHIC from seven to nine (by adding one consumer member and one industry or consumer member). The bill also changes the number of members needed for a quorum or for MHIC to take action to reflect the number of members currently serving, rather than the authorized membership. The frequency with which MHIC must meet is decreased from at least once per month to at least once every two months. MHIC must report annually by December 1 to specified committees of the General Assembly (1) the attendance at each commission meeting; (2) the number of guaranty fund claims closed at each meeting; and (3) how many guaranty fund claims remain open at the end of each meeting. The bill takes effect July 1, 2013.

SB280 - Landscape Architects-License Renewal-Continuing Competency Requirement (DEPT) - Requires the State Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects to establish, by regulation, continuing professional competency requirements for licensed landscape architects. Licensees must complete at least 24 hours of professional development activities as a condition of each license renewal, except for the first renewal. The requirement is phased in for licensees whose license expires before October 1, 2016.

HB225/SB273(ADM) - Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013

HB347-Professional Engineers Firm Permits (DEPT) - Establishes a permitting framework for professional engineering firms and generally requires that, beginning on October 1, 2015, a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC) must hold a permit issued by the State Board for Professional Engineers before the firm may operate a business through which engineering is practiced.

HB349 - Cemeteries-Prohibited Acts and Penalties (DEPT) - Establishes tiered systems of penalties for violations of perpetual care requirements, preneed sales requirements, and other prohibited acts in the industry regulated by OCO. The bill takes effect July 1, 2013.

HB351 - MMA-Licensing and Regulation (DEPT) - Authorizes the Commission to directly regulate MMA and amateur kick boxing events and license associated contestants and staff. The bill takes effect July 1, 2013.

HB353 - Engineers & Land Surveyors-Licensing/Exams (DEPT) - Allows for the computer-based delivery of uniform national licensing exams to applicants for land surveyors licensure; makes changes to delivery of exam results reexam procedures for both boards; and codifies existing practice for surveyors board of offering separate state-specific exams and requires additional years of relevant experience in one of the pathways to licensure.

HB355 - Stationary Engineers-Qualifications (DEPT) - Authorizes an applicant for a Grade 1 or Grade 2 exam to receive one year of credit for holding a current active license as a master restricted refrigeration contractor with the HVACR board. The bill takes effect July 1, 2013.

HB209/SB238 - Accountancy Board Extension - Extends the board to July 1, 2025 and requires the board, by October 1, 2013, to submit a report to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee. Specifically, the board must report on (1) fund balances, changes to the target fund balances, and future plans to use any remaining surplus; (2) findings and recommendations related to the outsourcing of exam application processing; and (3) specified information pertinent to the board's oversight of the peer review process. The bill takes effect July 1, 2013.

HB270/SB350 - Electrical & Plumbing Inspectors - Master License Required - Generally requires a county or local government to employ licensed or recently licensed master electricians as electrical inspectors and licensed master plumbers as plumbing inspectors, subject to specified exceptions. This requirement applies only to electrical and plumbing inspectors hired after the bill's effective date of January 1, 2014.

SB766/HB828 - Oil and Gas Land Professionals - Registration - Requires a person operating as a "land professional" in the State to be registered with DLLR and issued a registration certificate by the department. The bill takes effect June 1, 2013.

SB916 - Task Force on Requirements for Electricians - Establishes a Task Force to Study Licensing and Continuing Education Requirements for Electricians. DLLR must provide staff for the task force. The task force must report its findings and recommendations for legislation to the Governor and General Assembly by November 15, 2013. The bill takes effect July1, 2013, and terminates June 30, 2014.

SB1068 - Commission to Study the Regulation of Payroll Services - The commission must study (1) the function, size, and structure of the payroll services industry operating in the State; (2) the role of the payroll services industry in the tax payment system at the State and federal levels; and (3) the nature, oversight, and regulation of payroll service companies in other jurisdictions, including any licensing, permitting, and bonding requirements. The commission must also make recommendations for regulating payroll service companies in the State, including (1) the best practices for preventing fraud by payroll service companies in the collection and payment of taxes and (2) the feasibility and cost of establishing State licensure or registration of payroll service companies. The Comptroller's Office must provide staff for the commission. The commission must report its findings and recommendations to specified committees of the General Assembly by December 15, 2013. The bill takes effect June 1, 2013, and terminates June 30, 2014.

HB766 - Environment - Severn River Watershed - Silt and Erosion Control - Certification - Authorizes a professional land surveyor or a licensed landscape architect to certify that a developer's plan to control silt and erosion is adequate to contain silt and erosion on the property covered by the plan.

HB1040 -Secondhand Precious Metal Object Dealers & Pawnbrokers - Revisions - Authorizes a law enforcement agency to extend the period for which specified items suspected of being stolen must be held by licensed dealers; exempts a transaction by a retail jeweler if the jeweler participates in a "remount sale." This bill repeals the current exemption for transactions involving "numismatic items;" and the prohibition against counties or municipalities enacting a law to regulate these items is repealed while the prohibition against regulating coins is retained.

HB 1301 - Limited Licenses for Hairstylists - Establishes a limited license by the Cosmetologists Board to provide hair services under specified conditions.

Labor and Industry

SB82 - Elevator Safety-3rd Party Inspectors (DEPT) - Changes the definition of "third-party qualified elevator inspector" to mean an American National Standards Institute or the National Commission for certifying agencies.

SB305/HB296 - Labor and Industry- Sunset Extension - Repeals the termination date for DLI and its Employment of Minors and Wages and Hours units, and requires an evaluation of the division by July 1, 2023; the termination dates for the Apprenticeship and Training Council, OSHA Advisory Board, Amusement Ride Safety Advisory Board, and Boiler Rules Board are extended to July 1, 2024; repeals the Advisory Council on Prevailing Wage Rates; eliminates the penal bond requirement for employment agencies; authorizes the commissioner to investigate all labor laws enacted in Title 3; limits penalty of no more than $100 a day for noncompliance with the notification requirements to workers who are exempt persons or independent contractors under the Workplace Fraud law; requires the Boiler Rules Board to meet and consult at least once annually with the Board of Stationary Engineers; and includes three reporting requirements. They are: 1) on or before October 31, 2013, DLI shall submit a report to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee on the continued use and effective ness of wage orders; 2) on or before December 31, 2013, the Workplace Fraud Unit shall submit a report on the progress of the development of a long-term data management system; and 3) on or before December 31, 2014, DLI shall submit a report to the Governor on the status of the Workplace Fraud Unit as required by Chapter 188, Sec. 3 of the Acts of 2009. The bill is effective July 1, 2013.

HB795 - Maryland OSHA - Discrimination Against Employee - Complaints - Allows an employee to initially submit a complaint orally if the employee believes that an employer or other person has discriminated against the employee (1) on the basis of information gained through group medical coverage or (2) because the employee filed a complaint, brought action, testified, or exercised rights under Maryland OSHA. However, for an oral complaint to be accepted as timely, the employee must subsequently submit a written complaint within seven business days of making the oral complaint.

HB1130/SB758 - Lien for Unpaid Wages - Allows an employee to establish a lien for unpaid wages, not including commissions, against an employer. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry may seek to establish a lien on behalf of an employee, and the commissioner is required to adopt implementing regulations that establish content of the notice, complaint, and wage lien statement.

Racing Commission

SB 961 - Special Takeout - Authorizes a racetrack licensee to offer specific wagers under regs adopted by the Commission, and from these wagers a licensee is required to deduct specified amounts from the handle. A licensee is authorized to offer these wagers only with the consent of the commission; the group that represents a majority of the owners and trainers licensed; and the group that represents a majority of breeders in the State. The bill takes effect June 1, 2013.

Workforce Development and Adult Learning and GWIB

SB278 - EARN (ADM)

SB58 - High School Diploma - Residency Requirement Repeal (DEPT) - Repeals the minimum 3-month residency requirement for individuals seeking to obtain a high school diploma by examination in Maryland.

SB81 - WTCCCI - Membership (DEPT) - Authorizes specified members of the council to be represented on the council by designee. Specifically, except for the Secretaries of DPSCS and DLLR ex officio members of the council may be represented on the council by a designee.

SB356/HB698 - Ex-Offender Business Development Program Study - Requires the DBED, DLLR, and DPSCS to jointly study and evaluate the feasibility of establishing a business development program for ex-offenders. The program would invest in businesses run by ex-offenders and provide business training to ex-offenders. In addition, the study must identify funding sources to invest in ex-offender businesses and to fund training programs. The departments must report the findings to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee by October 1, 2014.

HB830 - Study of Alternatives to GED Tests - Requires DWDAL to conduct a study to identify alternative methods for an individual to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma without passing the GED tests. By December 1, 2013, the division must report on the results of the study. The bill takes effect June 1, 2013 and terminates May 31, 2014.

SB 4 - State Personnel - Applicants for Employment - Record Checks - Prohibits any State appointing authority in the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial Branch from inquiring into the criminal record or history of an applicant for employment until the applicant has been given an opportunity for an interview, with certain exceptions. An appointing authority may still notify an applicant that prior criminal convictions may prohibit employment for some positions. The bill also includes an annual related reporting requirement for the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). 
The reporting requirement terminates June 30, 2018.