2018 State Legislative Session
Summary of Legislation from the 2018 Legislative Session
Significant Legislation Impacting MICUA Members
Sexual Assault Disciplinary Proceedings Policy – (HB 913/SB 607) – PASSED
This bill requires the governing body of each institution of higher education to adopt and submit a revised sexual assault policy that includes provisions for disciplinary proceedings by August 1, 2019. The provisions require that counsel be provided for each student alleging a violation of the sexual assault policy and each student responding to an allegation. The students must be enrolled at the institution at the time of the incident that is the basis for the complaint, and the complaint must be against another enrolled student. Students may voluntarily choose not to have counsel. Students may elect to engage counsel at any time during the disciplinary proceedings. Institutions are not required to suspend the proceedings until students choose to access counsel. The bill also prohibits the use of a student’s prior sexual history to be used in the disciplinary proceedings, with some exceptions. MHEC is only required to pay for counsel to students who make a complaint on which a formal Title IX investigation is initiated. The Commission must pay “reasonable costs and attorney’s fees” for a student who is entitled to counsel under the bill. MICUA testified on both bills and worked extensively with both the Senate and House sponsors to significantly amend the original legislation. The effective date of the bill is October 1, 2018.
Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship Program - (SB 204) - PASSED
This bill establishes the Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship Program for eligible students pursuing an education directly relevant to cybersecurity. Recipients must complete a one-year service obligation that meets specified conditions for each year a scholarship is received or repay the State for the scholarship. Funds for the program are as provided in the annual budget of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). The fiscal 2019 budget includes $160,000 for this program. At the request of the sponsor, MICUA submitted testimony and testified in support of the bill. The effective date of the bill is July 1, 2018.
Emergency Use Auto-Injectable Epinephrine Program at Institutions – (HB 1473) - PASSED
This bill establishes the Emergency Use Auto-Injectable Epinephrine Program at Institutions of Higher Education within the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to authorize qualified individuals (through issuance of a certificate) employed by a food service facility or a recreation and wellness facility at an “eligible institution” to obtain, store, and administer auto-injectable epinephrine to individuals experiencing anaphylaxis. The bill establishes legal immunities for certificate holders or their agents, prescribing physicians, and pharmacists acting in compliance with the program. The bill also establishes reporting requirements for certificate holders and MDH as well as a requirement that institution pay for the MDH-approved educational training program for interested food service facility workers or recreation and wellness facility workers. The legislation does not require institutions of higher education to obtain, store, and administer auto-injectable epinephrine, but establishes certain responsibilities if an institution allows workers to administer the drug. The effective date of the bill is October 1, 2018.
Prohibition on the Sale of Powdered Alcohol - (HB 213/SB 253) - PASSED
This bill makes permanent the prohibition on selling or offering for sale alcoholic beverages that are sold in powder or crystalline form to be used directly or in combination with water or any other substance. The bill takes effect July 1, 2018.
Community Colleges – Baccalaureate Degrees Prohibition (SB 1021) – FAILED
This bill prohibits a community college from offering a baccalaureate degree. During the Legislative Session, the Attorney General to the Maryland General Assembly clarified current law upon request of the Ways and Means Education Subcommittee, affirming that Maryland’s community colleges are not authorized to offer baccalaureate degrees unless the programs are offered in collaboration with a four-year degree-granting institution. This bill passed the Senate and amendments were offered in the House to permit community colleges to issue a baccalaureate degree for American Sign Language (ASL). MICUA testified in support of the original prohibition bill and then worked to kill the bill when the proposed amendments were offered to allow the granting of a baccalaureate degree for ASL at a community college.
Financial Aid Reductions Notice – (HB 936) - FAILED
This bill requires public four-year and private nonprofit institutions of higher education in the State to provide notice to a student within 30 days of acceptance and before reducing a student’s institutional gift aid regarding: whether acceptance of additional gift aid may result in a reduction of institutional gift aid; and how much additional gift aid the student may accept before the institutional gift aid will be reduced. MICUA testified in opposition to this legislation.
Requirements to Transfer Student Education Records – (HB 713/SB 1027) - FAILED
This bill requires an institution of higher education, before deciding whether to accept and enroll a transfer student, to request and obtain the education records of the student regarding any disciplinary actions taken against the student by any institution in which the student was previously enrolled. If a student’s education record indicates that the student was disciplined for a violation of a sexual assault policy adopted under State law, the institution must impose individualized conditions on the admission and enrollment of the student to prevent the student from violating the institution’s sexual assault policy. An institution of higher education must provide notice to all students that the institution provides education records regarding disciplinary action to other institutions. Due to the numerous policy and implementation problems with this bill, MICUA actively lobbied against the bill and testified in opposition to the bill.
Academic Forgiveness Policy – (HB 663) - FAILED
This bill requires each institution of higher education that receives State funds to develop and implement an academic forgiveness policy by August 1, 2018. The academic forgiveness policy must disregard an applicant’s unsatisfactory or failing grades earned at a prior institution that were earned seven years before the applicant applied to a different institution. MICUA testified against this bill and helped defeat the proposal.
Common Sense Spending Act/Mandated Appropriations Reductions - (HB 348/SB 293) (HB 1339/SB 213) - FAILED
These four bills prohibit the General Assembly from enacting legislation that creates spending mandates and establishes caps on the annual increases in mandated funding programs. All of these bills have a damaging impact to the Sellinger program. MICUA testified in opposition to all four bills and the bills were defeated.
Hazing – Required Reporting and Education - (HB368) - FAILED
This bill requires each institution of higher education to adopt and submit a written policy on hazing to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and annually submit information related to hazing incidents at the institution to MHEC. Each institution must provide students with an educational program on hazing. MHEC must coordinate the development of the policies, periodically review them, and report annually to the General Assembly on the policies and hazing incidents. MICUA testified in opposition to the bill and the bill failed.
Montessori Schools Teacher Certification - (HB 1002/SB 1041) - FAILED
This bill allows an individual to be eligible for a certificate to teach students in a public Montessori school if the individual: has successfully completed a Montessori teacher education program; and successfully completed approved courses in special education and introduction to reading. The State Board of Education may require an individual to successfully pass an examination to be certified; however, beyond this examination, these teachers may not be required to meet any additional requirements to be certified to teach students in a Montessori school.
Sexual Assault Response Training Requirements and Grant Program - (HB 1238/SB 1203) - FAILED
This bill requires each institution of higher education, beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year, to provide annual sexual assault response training that is survivor-centered to any employee, contractor, or enrolled student of the institution who may be involved in tasks related to sexual violence or assault. A minimum of eight hours of training was mandated for specified individuals. The bill also established a Sexual Assault Response Training at Institutions of Higher Education Grant Program to be administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). The bill mandates the Governor provide at least $1 million annually for the program. Due to the numerous implementation problems with this bill, as well as the extreme expense it would impose on institutions, MICUA testified in opposition to the bill and worked with legislators to defeat the bill.
Provision of Information Relating to the Cost of Higher Education – (HB 1404) - FAILED
This bill requires each institution of postsecondary education in the State to provide detailed information related to the costs of higher education to prospective students. The information must be provided before a prospective student signs an enrollment agreement, completes registration, or makes a financial commitment to the institution. After working successfully with the bill’s sponsor during the 2017 legislative session on compromise legislation related to student loan notification letters, MICUA was disappointed to see this bill introduced. MICUA testified in opposition to the bill and helped to successfully defeat it.
Task Force on Higher Education Students With Chronic Health Conditions - (HB 1457) - FAILED
As first introduced, this bill placed extraordinary reporting burdens on institutions of higher education, many of which likely violate both FERPA and HIPPA. MICUA worked to kill the bill, and it was ultimately changed in the House to a task force to examine the issue of students with chronic health conditions. The bill establishes the Task Force on Higher Education Students with Chronic Health Conditions to be jointly appointed and staffed by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH). The task force must report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly. The report must also be made available to the public. The bill died in the Senate.
Baltimore City – Independent Institutions of Higher Education – Police Force – (HB 1803) - FAILED
This bill authorizes an independent institution of higher education in Baltimore City to establish a campus police force based on a memorandum of understanding between the institution and the Mayor or the Police Commissioner of Baltimore City. In addition, the bill makes campus police officers subject to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights and eligible for certification by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission (MPTSC). MICUA submitted written testimony in support of the bill.
Baltimore County Polling Places on Campuses – (SB129) - FAILED
This bill requires the Baltimore County Board of Elections to establish at least one polling place at each public or private institution of higher education in Baltimore County that has residential student housing on its campus. If a polling place is established at an institution of higher education that receives State funds, the institution must provide a facility that meets all polling place requirements, at no charge, and assist the board in recruiting election judges to staff the polling place. MICUA worked directly with the institutions impacted by the bill and submitted informational testimony to inform the committee’s decision making. The bill was never voted out of committee.
Income Tax Credit – Employers – Eligible Internships ((SB 380/HB 1358) - FAILED
This bill creates a tax credit against the State income tax for a business entity located in the State that employs an eligible intern that would not have been hired without the tax credit. The credit is equal to the lesser of 10% of the wages paid to each eligible intern or $1,000. The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) may approve up to $300,000 in aggregate tax credit certificate applications annually. MICUA submitted written testimony in support of this bill.
Bills impacting Public Institutions of Education
University System of Maryland – Quasi Endowment Funds - (HB 871/SB 502) - PASSED
This bill authorizes the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland (USM) to make a one-time transfer of no more than $25 million from the non-State-supported fund balance to the quasi-endowment fund. The board may use the investment proceeds only to match a privately funded scholarship program at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). It is the intent of the General Assembly that the USM Board of Regents make the transfer from UMCP’s fund balance. The bill takes effect July 1, 2018.
Southern Maryland University System of Maryland Partnership Act of 2018 – (HB 1143/SB 903) - PASSED
This bill repeals the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC) from statute. The bill also specifies that SMHEC, as enacted in statute, ceases to exist on the effective date of the bill and that its operations, facilities, and resources must become part of a regional higher education center (RHEC) established by the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland (USM). The Chancellor of USM must appoint the College Park Campus to oversee administration and research of the Center and must solicit advice from University of Maryland, College Park prior to appointing an Executive Director of the Center. The bill takes effect March 1, 2019. MICUA testified in support of this bill to remind the committees of the long history of collaboration that independent colleges and universities have with the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center and to state, for the record, the commitment USM made to allow non-USM institutions to offer programs at the Center.
Gun Free Higher Education Zones – (HB 904) - FAILED
This bill prohibits, with specified exceptions, a person from carrying or possessing a firearm on the property of a public institution of higher education in the State. The bill applies existing criminal penalties to violations. A public institution of higher education must post signs to provide notice of the bill’s prohibition in prominent locations on the property of the institution, including at entrances to and exits from the property. The bill requires the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland to incorporate into their bylaws, policies, and procedures, the current weapons practice on their campuses. It also alters provisions relating to an exception from the prohibition on carrying or possessing specified weapons on specified property for an off-duty or retired law enforcement officer.
Hate Bias Incident Prevention – (HB511) - FAILED
This bill requires each public institution of higher education to develop and implement a plan for a program to prevent hate-bias incidents, including mandatory training, and a hate-bias incident response protocol. The protocol must include a public log of hate-bias incidents and, if the institution has an electronic crime notification system, the system must include notifications of such incidents. Related reports must be submitted annually to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and the General Assembly.
Public Senior Higher Education Institutions – Disciplinary Proceedings – (HB 603/SB 1033) - FAILED
This bill was introduced by Republican sponsors and establishes the right to an attorney or non-attorney advocate for a student or an officially recognized student organization during disciplinary proceedings at public four-year institutions of higher education. The bill does not apply to matters involving academic misconduct or any matter that would not result in specified punishments. The bill establishes the right of a student or student organization to appeal an initial decision under certain circumstances, and it establishes procedures for an appeal. If any of the rights of a student or student organization are violated under the bill, a court of competent jurisdiction may award a student or student organization damages, injunctive relief, court costs, or attorney’s fees against a public four-year institution. A student or student organization initiating a lawsuit based on a violation of the laws established by the bill must file an action within one year after the alleged violation.
Public Institutions of Higher Education Discriminatory Harassment - (SB 525) - FAILED
This bill requires a public institution of higher education that has actual knowledge of an act of student-on-student discriminatory harassment in the public institution of higher education’s programs or activities to take immediate action to eliminate the known act of discriminatory harassment and address its effects. A public institution of higher education that is deliberately indifferent to a known act of discriminatory harassment is in violation of the Act, and an action may be brought against the institution in any State court of competent jurisdiction. In addition, the State waives immunity under the Eleventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and consents to suit in a federal court for an action arising out of the bill.
Community College Related Bills
Maryland Community College Promise Scholarships - (HB16) - PASSED
This bill establishes, beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year, a Maryland Community College Promise Scholarships Program for eligible applicants pursuing a vocational certificate or an associate degree at a Maryland community college. To be eligible to receive the benefits, students must enroll within two years of graduating from a Maryland high school or earning a GED and earn less than $100,000 for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers. The Program is a last-dollar scholarship. Any student financial aid received by the recipient, other than student loans, must be credited to the recipient’s tuition costs prior to awarding the Promise Scholarship. Students who receive Promise Scholarships must maintain employment in the State for at least one year for each year the scholarship award is received, or the award is converted to a student loan. The legislation requires the Governor to appropriate $15 million to the Program beginning in fiscal 2020. The funds will be awarded to students based on greatest demonstrated financial need. The legislation caps community college tuition increases at no more than 4% for the next three years. In addition, the legislation includes a Near Completer outreach program to encourage students to complete their degrees at a public or private institution in the State. The legislation also includes a modest grant program to assist near completers with the costs of tuition and fees for re-enrolling at a public institution in the State. MICUA took no position on this legislation.
Community Colleges Facilities Renewal Grant - (HB403/SB595) - PASSED
This bill establishes the Community College Facilities Renewal Grant (CCFRG) program within the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to provide grants for improvements, repairs, and deferred maintenance projects at community colleges, including Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). Grants provided by the program are in addition to and may not supplant funds provided by the Community College Facilities Grant program. Each year beginning in fiscal 2019, the Governor must appropriate 5% of the annual appropriation for the Community College Construction Grant Program to the new CCFRG program. The bill takes effect July 1, 2018.
Higher Education Degree and Job Certification Without Debt Act of 2018 – Maryland Promise Program – (SB 317) - FAILED
This bill establishes several initiatives intended to reduce the costs of attending community college and increase college graduation rates in the State including: (1) The Maryland Community College Promise Program, which provides specified income-eligible students with up to 100% of tuition at community colleges for an associate’s degree or a certificate program, beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year; (2) Programs for students nearing the completion of a degree; and (3) Specified tuition caps for community colleges.
Community Colleges Collective Bargaining – (SB 408/HB 667) - FAILED
This bill establishes a collective bargaining process for local community college employees including full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and staff but excluding officers, supervisory or confidential employees, and student assistants. Full-time and part-time faculty at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) may also collectively bargain under this process. Specified employees may bargain collectively over wages, hours, other terms and conditions of employment, and the procedures for dues and fees to be charged by the exclusive representative. Disputes on these issues may be settled through mediation and fact finding and, if necessary, are subject to a final and binding decision by the State Higher Education Labor Relations Board (SHELRB).
Broader Higher Education Bills
Student Loan Notification Letter – (HB17/SB 69) - PASSED
This bill expands the institutions that must provide student loan notification letters to students at all private career schools and for-profit institutions. Each institution must provide the information annually with the student’s financial aid award notice beginning July 1, 2019.
Maryland Technology Internship Program – (HB527) - PASSED
This bill incorporates units of State and local government into the existing Maryland Technology Internship program, allowing them to participate in the same way as technology-based businesses if they meet certain requirements. The bill also removes a prohibition against participation in the program by businesses with more than 150 employees, but it requires that half of the internships supported by the program each year be with businesses smaller than that size. The bill also requires the utilization of an Internet site for the administration of the program. The bill takes effect July 1, 2018.
For-Profit Institutions of Higher Education and For-Profit Distance Education Programs Regulation – (SB 795/HB 1103) - PASSED
This emergency bill requires a private career school, for-profit institution of higher education, or a for-profit institution that is required to register with the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to provide a prospective student with the total cost of attendance for the program, the length of the program, the number of clock or credit hours, the cancellation or refund policy, the completion rates for full-time and part-time students, and the program’s withdrawal rates. The bill also prohibits a for-profit institution that is required to register from enrolling a student in a program that is intended to lead to employment in a field that requires licensure or certification in the State under specified circumstances. In addition to the current guaranty funds, each private career school and for-profit institution (including those required to register) must furnish to MHEC a performance bond or irrevocable letter of credit in an amount equal to the school’s or institution’s non-Title IV adjusted gross tuition and fees for the prior July 1 through June 30. The bill also authorizes, rather than requires, MHEC to operate two separate guaranty funds for for-profit institutions and private career schools.
Educational Excellence Award Eligibility – High School Diploma by Examination – (SB 842/HB 781) - PASSED
This bill expands eligibility for the Guaranteed Access (GA) grant under the Educational Excellence Award (EEA) Program to encompass individuals who have successfully obtained a high school diploma by examination (commonly known as the GED) if those individuals also meet certain criteria. Specifically, such an individual must: (1) Have scored a passing score of at least 165 per module; (2) Begin college within one year of achieving the score or provide evidence satisfactory to the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) of extenuating circumstances; (3) Be, from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2022, younger than age 26 at the time of receiving the first award and, from July 1, 2022, onward, be younger than age 22; (4) Enroll in college as a full-time student; and (5) Have an annual family income below a poverty index determined by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). The bill takes effect July 1, 2018.
Bills with a focus on K-12 Education
Securing the Future: Computer Science Education for All - (HB 281) - PASSED
This bill is a similar to a bill introduced by the Hogan Administration (HB 350/SB 300). The bill requires, beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, each public high school to offer at least one high-quality computer science course. The bill establishes the Maryland Center for Computing Education at the University System of Maryland to provide computer science-related professional development and administer a grant program. The bill also establishes a special fund to support the activities of the center. The Governor must appropriate at least $1 million in fiscal 2020 and 2021 for the fund. The bill takes effect June 1, 2018. MICUA secured amendments to the bill to ensure that the Center works in collaboration with all segments of higher education, including Maryland’s independent colleges and universities.
Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education – “Kirwan Commission” – (HB 1415) - PASSED
This bill extends the deadline for the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education to complete its work by one year. It also establishes or alters several programs and funding mandates including: (1) A comprehensive teacher recruitment and outreach program; (2) The Maryland Early Literacy Initiative; (3) The Learning in Extended Academic Programs (LEAP) grant program; (4) The Public School Opportunities Enhancement Program (PSOEP); (5) The Teaching Fellows for Maryland scholarship program; and (6) The Career and Technology Education (CTE) Innovation grant program. Beginning in fiscal 2020, the Governor must annually appropriate to the Prekindergarten Expansion Fund an amount that is at least equal to all revenues received in the prior fiscal year. Finally, the scope of a study of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process in Maryland is expanded, and the due date for the study is extended. The bill takes effect June 1, 2018.
21st Century School Facilities Act – (HB 1783) - PASSED
This bill resulted from recommendations made by the Knott Commission. This bill makes comprehensive changes to the public school construction funding and approval processes in the State, including: (1) Altering the name, composition, and role of the Interagency Committee on School Construction; (2) Requiring periodic public school facilities assessments; (3) Streamlining the State approval process for school construction projects; and (4) Providing at least $400 million for public school construction annually as soon as practicable, including $10 million for school safety improvements. The bill also eliminates Maryland’s Board of Public Works from the school construction process and, as a result, the bill was vetoed by the Governor. The Governor’s veto was overridden by the General Assembly in the closing days of the 2018 session.
High School Credit for College Courses Act of 2018 – (HB 940/SB 479) – FAILED
This bill requires a local board of education to award a high school student elective credit for successful completion of any specified college course for which the student receives college credit. A local board of education must award graduation credit for a college course unless the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) determines that the course does not satisfy a graduation requirement. The bill proposes procedures that an institution of postsecondary education and MSDE must follow to certify a course to meet a graduation requirement. MSDE is required to maintain a publicly available list on its website of college courses that satisfy specific high school graduation requirements. MICUA testified in support of the bill with amendments.
Research Based Reading Instruction – (HB 493/SB 638) - FAILED
This bill requires the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board (PSTEB), by January 1, 2022, to require specified teaching candidates to successfully pass a written test of research-based reading instruction. The requirement applies to candidates applying for a certificate to teach students with disabilities, as a reading specialist, English language learners, as a reading teacher, or prekindergarten through sixth grade. PSTEB and the State Board of Education jointly must: (1) Select the test by January 1, 2019; (2) Set the passing score at least as high as the level recommended by the test developer; and (3) Set standards that include specified elements for the delivery of research-based reading instruction by teacher preparation programs in the State. This bill had significant support from the reading advocate community. MICUA took the lead in opposing the bill and testified against the bill in the House and Senate.
Public School Teachers Preparation – (HB 823) - FAILED
This bill requires the following initiatives related to teacher preparation and recruitment: (1)
Each local board of education must offer a Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) program as a career and technology education (CTE) program for their students, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year; (2) The State Board of Education must adopt regulations that provide for the qualifications of a supervising teacher for student teachers and student interns and ensure mentor training for supervising teachers; and (3) By July 1, 2019, and each July 1 thereafter, the Maryland Longitudinal Data System (MLDS) Center, with other specified entities, must establish and update a comprehensive reporting dashboard for each teacher preparation program offered at an institution of higher education in the State. MICUA provided written testimony to support this legislation.
Establishment of the Maryland Reading Standards Matrix – (HB 1657) - FAILED
This bill requires the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the University System of Maryland (USM), and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to develop a Maryland Reading Standards Matrix (the matrix) by March 1, 2019. By March 1, 2020, MSDE, USM, and MHEC must develop a syllabus and timeline to provide professional development courses for specified faculty and establish an accreditation process for specified reading preparation programs. The courses must include all the specified components of the matrix. By July 1, 2020, all State undergraduate and graduate pre-service educator preparation programs must use the matrix to develop reading courses and syllabi and to deliver reading instruction to pre-service educator candidates. MICUA submitted written testimony in partnership with USM, MACC, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland in opposition to the bill.
State Student Loan Refinancing Program Study – (HB 605) - PASSED
This bill requires the Maryland Health and Higher Educational Facilities Authority (MHHEFA) to engage an outside consultant to conduct a market-specific study to determine the costs of, demand for, and long-term viability of a State student loan refinancing program. If the fiscal 2019 budget does not include $250,000 for the study, then that amount of funding is mandated in fiscal 2020. MHHEFA must review the report and make comments and recommendations to specified committees of the General Assembly. The bill takes effect June 1, 2018, and terminates June 30, 2020.
Maryland 529 Plans and Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit Revisions – (SB 933/HB 1341) - PASSED
This bill increases the State matching contribution from $250 to $500 for specified 529 investment account holders, extends the eligible contribution period, and makes related changes. The bill also reduces the minimum amount of funding the Governor must provide for matching contributions to $3 million annually, beginning in fiscal 2019, and increases the amount that may be certified for Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credits each year to $9 million. Matching contribution provisions apply retroactively to eligible investment accounts established after December 31, 2016, and the tax credit provision applies to all taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. The legislation also renames the State’s prepaid college plan and trust after Senator Ed Kasemeyer, a graduate of McDaniel College. The bill takes effect June 1, 2018.
Student Loan Tax Credit - (HB 593) - PASSED
This bill expands eligibility of the student loan debt relief tax credit by specifying that for the purposes of the program student loan debt includes graduate school debt. The bill takes effect July 1, 2018, and applies to tax years 2018 and beyond.
Labor Related Bills
Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018 - (SB 1010/HB 1596) – PASSED
This bill establishes that, except as prohibited by federal law, a provision in an employment contract, policy, or agreement that waives any substantive or procedural right or remedy to a claim that accrues in the future of sexual harassment or retaliation for reporting, or asserting a right or remedy based on sexual harassment, is null and void as being against the public policy of the State. An employer with 50 or more employees must annually submit a short survey to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) on sexual harassment settlements, and MCCR must publish specified information from the surveys (making them accessible on its website), retain responses for public inspection on request, and create an executive summary on a random selection of surveys. The effective date of the bill is October 1, 2018, and employers are responsible for submitting the first survey to MCCR on July 1, 2019.
Collective Bargaining – Graduate Assistants – (HB 199/SB 560) - FAILED
These bills authorize graduate assistants at the University System of Maryland (USM), St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), and Morgan State University (MSU) to collectively bargain.
Wage History Information – (HB 512/SB 377) - FAILED
This bill prohibits an employer with at least 15 employees from screening an applicant for employment based on the applicant’s wage history and from seeking wage history information for an employee. An applicant or an employee is not prohibited from voluntarily sharing wage history information with an employer.
Ban the Box – (HB 541) - FAILED
This bill proposes to extend the ban the box proposal from the 2017 session to all employers with 15 or more full time employees.
Exemptions from Overtime Pay – (HB974) - FAILED
This bill proposes to implement the Obama Administration’s overtime pay rule by altering an exemption for specified executive, administrative, or professional (EAP) employees from the Maryland Wage and Hour Law, resulting in more workers being eligible for overtime pay.
ELECTION AND SOCIAL MEDIA BILLS
Online Electioneering Transparency and Accountability Act – (HB 981/SB 875) - PASSED
This bill establishes requirements applicable to qualifying paid digital communications and establishes the State Administrator of Elections’ and State Board of Elections’ (SBE) authority to enforce the requirements. The bill also prohibits purchases of campaign material or an electioneering communication with currency other than U.S. currency. Finally, the bill modifies requirements applicable to independent expenditures, disbursements for electioneering communications, and campaign material authority lines. The bill takes effect June 1, 2018, in time for the upcoming Maryland primary elections.