2012 End of Session Report
April 13, 2012
In January, Governor O'Malley presented the FY 2013 budget which focused on a balanced approach of reductions and investments to create jobs. In the last hours of April 9, the legislature passed an amended operating budget (SB150) that bears little resemblance to the Governor's original proposal. The Maryland General Assembly adjourned without an agreement on new taxes or savings revenue bills to accompany the Governor's budget for FY13. Legislative proposals on gambling measures and various tax bills could not be resolved, which caused a budget impasse.
The Governor's capital budget (SB151) was passed intact, giving a much needed lift to the construction trades with job investment. Without a supporting revenue bill to the budget, the state would have been required to make more than $512 million in funding reductions, bringing into play the "doomsday" budget plan substituted by the legislature on July 1, 2012.
On May 14, 2012, the Governor convened a 3-day special session to finalize a fiscally responsible budget plan (SB1301/HB1801) for FY 2013 and to undo devastating reductions to critical State programs and services. The State and Local Revenue Financing Act of 2012 (SB1302/HB1802) implements the revenue plan. The plan adds greater progressivity to our income tax structure, closes tax loopholes for businesses, raises the tax rate on other tobacco products, and increases certain fees.
During the regular session, lawmakers considered more than 2,500 bills, about 125 were tracked by the Department. Some of the more important proposals that were successful included measures to strengthen the Workplace Fraud Act of 2009 protecting workers and law-abiding business owners; Administration initiatives to address the ongoing foreclosure crisis while stabilizing affected neighborhoods throughout the State of Maryland; and Departmental bills to:
The Department supported the Administration's efforts to:
The budget reflects corrections made by the budget committees for VLT impact aid ($37,975,984) and local impact aid amounts ($351,000) in the Division of Racing. The Capital Budget, SB 151/HB 86 includes $1,620,000 for replacement of four elevators at 1100 N. Eutaw Street. The Supplemental Budget # 1 was released on April 2, including $225,000 GF for reimbursement to the Office of Financial Regulation for assistance provided on the national mortgage foreclosure settlement; $250,805 GF for regulatory oversight of horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering at Rosecroft Raceway; $500,000 GF for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for DWDAL for the establishment of the Health Care Personnel Training Program to be administered by the Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning; and $13m FF for the Office of Unemployment Insurance for the Center for Employment Security and Education and Research/Information technology Support Center pass-thru grants for FY 12. The above mentioned provisions outlined the supplemental budget remain unchanged as a result of the special session.
Operating Budget - The Department received a preliminary budget of $326,893,153. The budget plan passed during the special session restored: state agency operating expenses, state employee COLAs, state share of employee health insurance costs, and 400 of the 500 Executive Branch Positions set to be cut. As of April 13, the Budget was as follows:
(This does not include adjustments outside the bill.)
Successful Administration Bills
SB234 - Health Improvement/Disparities Reduction Act
SB235/HB440 - Procurement - Stop Investment Activities in Iran
SB236 - Sustainable Growth and Preservation Act
HB443 - Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2012
HB442 - Maryland Innovation Initiative
HB446 - Bay Restoration Fund
HB438 - Civil Marriage Protection Act
SB294/HB444 - Family Farm Preservation Act of 2012
Successful Departmental Bills and other bills of interest:
On Thursday, February 9th, Maryland entered into a settlement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers, bringing nearly $1 billion in monetary benefits and relief to distressed homeowners. The accord follows an extensive investigation into foreclosure abuses, fraud, and unacceptable mortgage servicing practices such as "robo-signing." The settlement will help thousands of Marylanders stay in their homes through enhanced loan modifications and other services. It also requires comprehensive reform of mortgage loan servicing standards, changing the way these banks will deal with customers in the future.
This landmark agreement - the largest of its kind in Maryland history - includes the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation's Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, the Federal government, and the nation's five largest mortgage servicers, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, and Ally Bank/GMAC. 50 states entered into the agreement.
HB515/SB476 - Financial Education and Capability Commission - This legislation creates the Financial Education and Capability Commission to (1) monitor the implementation of public and private initiatives to improve the financial education and capability of residents of the State; and (2) make recommendations on the coordination of financial education and capability efforts across State agencies. The bill requires the commission to report to the Governor and the General Assembly, by December 1 of each year, on its recommendations and the status of the State's efforts to improve the financial education and capability of residents of the State. The Maryland Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope (CASH) Campaign provides staff for the commission.
HB571/SB792 - Lend Local Act of 2012 - The legislation establishes a Linked Deposit Program for Small Businesses in DHCD to support small businesses that qualify for the Small Business Reserve Program in gaining access to credit by assisting these businesses in obtaining loans at lower-than-market interest rates. DGS must confirm the small business status of a business at the point of the initial loan and notify DHCD if a business receiving a loan under the program no longer qualifies as a small business, effective July 1, 2012.
HB600/SB580 - Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief - This legislation creates a subtraction modification against the State income tax for qualified mortgage debt relief. The subtraction modification is equal to the amount of the discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness allowable under the federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, as amended. The maximum value of the subtraction modification is limited to $1.0 million for individuals and $2.0 million for joint returns. The bill provides for recapture of the tax benefit if the taxpayer claiming the subtraction modification sells or otherwise disposes of the property for which the subtraction modification is claimed, effective July 1, 2012, and applies to tax year 2013 only. The law terminates June 30, 2014.
HB923 - Neighborhood Conservation Act of 2012. This bill authorizes local governments to grant a property tax credit for owner-occupied residential real property that is purchased from July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2018, and is located in a neighborhood conservation area established or renewed by application to the DHCD based on the specified criteria adopted by DHCD. DHCD must adopt regulations that establish application procedures for the designation of a neighborhood conservation area based on (1) the concentration of foreclosure activity; (2) the concentration of blighted or vacant properties; and (3) the location within a priority funding area, with preference given to specified sustainable communities, effective June 1, 2012, and applies to all taxable years beginning after June 30, 2012.
HB1027/SB901 - Credit Regulation - Retail Installment Sales and Closed End Credit - Debt Cancellation Agreements - Definitions. The legislation alters the definition of "debt cancellation agreement," in relation to a retail installment sale and closed-end credit transaction, by including an agreement under which the outstanding balance (or remaining loan balance) payable on an installment loan is reduced by the actual cash value of a motor vehicle at the time of loss, if the buyer's insurance does not cover the loss. The bill also alters the definitions of "outstanding balance" and "remaining loan balance," in relation to retail installment sales and closed-end credit transactions, respectively, to exclude any deferred payments and the refundable portion of any financed taxes or charges, including charges for credit life insurance, credit health insurance, credit involuntary unemployment benefit insurance, and mechanical repair contracts, effective October 1, 2012.
HB1373 - Foreclosed Property Registry (DEPT). This bill requires the Department to establish and maintain an Internet-based Foreclosed Property Registry for information relating to foreclosure sales of residential property. The bill requires a foreclosure purchaser to submit an initial registration form within 30 days of the sale and a final registration form within 30 days after the deed has been recorded. The bill also establishes the Foreclosed Property Registry Fund. The bill requires the Department to report to the General Assembly by December 1, 2012, on the status of the Foreclosed Property Registry and the Foreclosed Property Registry Fund.
HB1374 - Foreclosures and Pre-File Mediation (DEPT). This bill authorizes a secured party to offer to participate in prefile mediation with a mortgagor or grantor to whom the secured party has delivered a notice of intent to foreclose. If the mortgagor or grantor elects prefile mediation, an order to docket or complaint to foreclose may not be filed until the completion of the mediation. The bill requires a secured party that offers prefile mediation to include specified information and a prefile mediation application in the notice of intent to foreclose. The bill authorizes the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to adopt regulations to carry out the bill's provisions. The bill also exempts from the State income tax any payment to an individual made as a result of a foreclosure settlement negotiated by the Attorney General. An order to docket or complaint to foreclose served on a mortgagor or grantor before the effective date of the regulations adopted by the commissioner is in compliance with Maryland law if the order or complaint complies with current law as it existed immediately prior to October 1, 2012.
SB290 - Savings Banks Conversions (DEPT). This bill clarifies existing statute authorizing a mutual savings bank to convert to a capital stock savings bank with the approval of its members and the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. The bill requires the commissioner to charge and collect, in advance, an application fee of $5,000 for the conversion. The commissioner must adopt regulations to govern the conversion. The bill takes effect July 1, 2012.
SB302 - Mortgage Lenders Licensing Exemption (DEPT). This bill removes the mortgage lender licensing exemption for (1) a person who makes three or fewer mortgage loans per calendar year; (2) a person who brokers at most one mortgage loan per calendar year; and (3) a specified subsidiary or affiliate of any financial institution without specified connections to the State. The bill also provides the Commissioner of Financial Regulation with investigative and enforcement powers over a subsidiary or affiliate of an institution over which the commissioner has jurisdiction. The bill takes effect January 1, 2013.
SB303 - Credit Regulation - Debt and Management Services (DEPT). This bill clarifies that either party to a debt management services agreement may rescind the contract at any time by giving written notice to the other party. The bill also prohibits a person licensed by the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to provide debt management services from violating any provision of federal or State law governing debt management services or other related services. The bill takes effect July 1, 2012.
SB545 - Money Transmitters Licensing Requirements (DEPT). This bill authorizes the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to participate in the establishment and implementation of a multistate automated licensing system for persons who engage in money transmission. The bill also makes several changes relating to licensing requirements for persons engaged in money transmission under the Maryland Money Transmission Act, including requiring money transmitters to pay the application processing fee imposed by the nationwide licensing system for each branch location license, renew a license every year, and pay a per-day fee set by the commissioner for each of the commissioner's employees engaged in an on-site examination of the licensee. The bill also makes license and investigation fees nonrefundable.
SB546 - Mortgage Lenders and Loan Originators (DEPT). This bill requires an applicant for a mortgage lender license or mortgage loan originator license to complete, sign, and submit the application to the Commissioner of Financial Regulation according to the process the commissioner requires and provide all information the commissioner requests. The bill makes any mortgage lender license or mortgage loan originator license application fee paid to the commissioner nonrefundable. The bill requires a mortgage lender licensee renewing a license to provide the commissioner with proof satisfying specified minimum net worth requirements within 90 days after the last day of the licensee's most recent fiscal year. The bill takes effect July 1, 2012.
Lt. Governor Brown testified in favor of the Department's bills (HB769/SB291) to provide UI coverage for victims of domestic violence. These bills were actively supported by advocacy organizations. The bills were also supported by the Women's Legislative Caucus, the Legislative Black Caucus, and the Joint Oversight Committee on Unemployment Insurance. More details below.
In addition, the Division of Unemployment Insurance was instrumental in working with the Division of Labor and Industry to maintain the integrity of the Workplace Fraud Act and the Division thwarted other legislative efforts as well that attempted to undermine UI and public benefits.
HB769/SB291 - Domestic Violence - UI (DEPT). The legislation allows an individual to be eligible to receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits if the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) determines the individual voluntarily left employment because the individual or the individual's spouse, minor child, or parent was a victim of domestic violence. An individual must (1) reasonably believe that the individual's continued employment would jeopardize the safety of the individual or the individual's family; and (2) provide documentation to DLLR substantiating the domestic violence. DLLR must adhere to certain privacy protections and may not charge the benefits payable to a claimant against the rating record of an employer. The law applies to new claims for UI benefits effective on or after October 1, 2012.
Occupational and Professional Licensing
The Department successfully offered amendments to the Office of Cemetery Oversight - Sunset Extension and Program Evaluation bills (HB394/SB282) to protect consumers from owners of cemeteries who may try to default on their obligations to purchasers of burial plots. A cemetery registration may not be transferred from one person to another, but it may be transferred for the same individual from one cemetery to another. A cemetery owned or operated by a private family that does not conduct public sales is also excluded from registration and permitting requirements. The director must include in the annual report the number of registrants and permit holders as of the end of the fiscal year for each licensing category and deliver the report to each member of the advisory council. More details below.
Much time was spent by staff mediating the various interests in the elevator industry. There were several unsuccessful legislative proposals to add new regulatory programs to the Department. These included: common interests, landsmen, plastic bags, pet retail stores, masons, and business brokers.
HB74/SB96 - Design Boards - Sunset Extension and Program Evaluation. The legislation extends the termination date for the State Board of Certified Interior Designers by 10 years to July 1, 2024, and requires an evaluation of the board by July 1, 2023. In addition, these bills make permanent (1) the fee-setting authority for all five "design boards;" (2) the Occupational and Professional Licensing Design Boards' Fund; and (3) related reporting requirements, effective July 1, 2012.
HB89/SB814 - Elevators - Accessibility Lift Mechanic License - The legislation requires the Elevator Safety Review Board to license accessibility lift mechanics and establish fees for the application, issuance, and renewal of lift mechanic licenses. These bills defines the scope of the accessibility lift mechanic profession and license, establishes education and experience requirements for licensure, and prohibits a person from working as an accessibility lift mechanic without a license. The board must also adopt regulations to certify licensed accessibility lift mechanics as "accessibility lift mechanic specialists" to work on private residential elevators. These bills authorizes the board to issue a conditional accessibility lift mechanic license that is effective until January 1, 2017, to a candidate actively completing specified education requirements for licensure. This legislation takes effect January 1, 2013.
HB109/SB23 - Elevator Safety Review Board Membership - The legislation increases the number of members of the Elevator Safety Review Board from 9 to 10 by adding 1 member who must either represent the elevator interior renovation industry or be a contractor licensed by the board (other than an elevator contractor), effective October 1, 2012.
HB206/SB246 - Secondhand Precious Metal Object Dealers - Requirements - The legislation allows a secondhand precious metal object dealer to place all items acquired in a single transaction into a secure container approved by local law enforcement during the required holding period, as long as each item in the transaction is recorded separately in the required written record of the transaction and the container is tagged with a number which corresponds to the transaction and the written record entry, effective October 1, 2012.
HB341/SB187 - Real Estate Appraisers and Home Inspectors - Sunset Extension/Program Evaluation - Thee legislation extends the termination date for the State Commission of Real Estate Appraisers and Home Inspectors by 10 years to July 1, 2023, and requires an evaluation of the commission by July 1, 2022. The commission is renamed to reflect its new regulatory authority over appraisal management companies (AMCs). The bill includes related reporting requirements and it is effective July 1, 2012.
HB368 - State Board of Plumbing Membership - This bill alters the membership requirements of the State Board of Plumbing by requiring that - of the board's seven plumber members - one member must be from Carroll or Howard counties and one member must be from Cecil or Harford counties, effective May 1, 2013.
HB394/SB282 - OCO Sunset Extension and Program Evaluation - The legislation, as amended, extends the termination date for the OCO by 10 years to July 1, 2023, and require an evaluation of the office by July 1, 2022. It includes many of the statutory recommendations developed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) during the 2011 sunset evaluation, which address (1) the structure and function of the office and the Advisory Council on Cemetery Operations; (2) registration and permit requirements for cemeteries in the State; (3) regulation of perpetual care and preneed sales; (4) consumer complaints and outreach; and (5) the office's finances. The bill takes effect July 1, 2012.
HB540/SB415 - Handling Human Remains with Dignity Act of 2012 - The legislation establishes requirements for the proper handling of the body of a decedent by funeral establishments and crematories. Failure to comply with the bill's requirements is grounds for disciplinary action for licensees of the State Board of Morticians and Funeral Directors and permit holders of the OCO, effective October 1, 2012.
HB920 - Maryland Uniform Athlete Agents Act - Definitions and Prohibitions - This bill alters the definitions "agency contract" and "athlete agent" as defined in the Maryland Uniform Athlete Agents Act. Additionally, the bill prohibits an athlete agent from soliciting a person who is not an athlete agent to conduct specified prohibited actions on their behalf, effective October 1, 2012.
SB607 - Plumbers and Gas Fitters - Apprentice License Renewal - This bill specifies that the State Board of Plumbing may not renew an apprentice plumber license or an apprentice natural gas fitter's license for more than three consecutive terms if the licensee has not taken or registered to take the journey plumber or journeyman natural gas fitters examination. This provision applies prospectively to apprentice plumbers or apprentice natural gas fitters issued an initial license on or after October 1, 2012. However, an apprentice license may be renewed for an additional two-year term each time the licensee fails a journey examination, regardless of the date of initial licensure.
HB1268 - Plumbers - Lead Free Materials -This bill alters the definition of "lead-free" for individual plumbing fittings and fixtures and for pipes and pipe fittings. The bill also specifies which fittings, fixtures, pipes, and pipe fittings may be considered when calculating weighted average lead content, effective October 1, 2012.
HB1445 - Plumbing and Heating, Ventilation, AC, and Refrigeration Employees - Public Work Contracts - License Requirement and Employee Classification - This bill prohibits a person from employing an individual to provide or assist in providing specified services under a public works contract subject to State prevailing wage law unless the individual is licensed by specified State boards to perform those services. A person may not classify an employee under a public works contract subject to prevailing wage law who is licensed by the specified State boards at a specific work classification that is higher than the employee's license type (apprentice, journeyman, master). The bill applies to plumbing services, for which an individual must be licensed by the State Board of Plumbing, and to heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or refrigeration (HVACR) services, for which an individual must be licensed by the State Board of HVACR Contractors, effective October 1, 2012.
SB109 - Board of Architects, Continuing Professional Competency (DEPT) - This bill repeals the statutory continuing education requirements related to license renewal for architects. Instead, it requires the State Board of Architects to adopt regulations to require a licensee to demonstrate continuing professional competency by completing at least 24 hours of professional development activities as a condition of license renewal, effective October 1, 2012.
SB134 - Real Estate Commission Sunset Extension and Program Evaluation -This bill retains the commission and extends it by 10 years to July 1, 2022. An evaluation will be made of the commission by 2021. The bill provides for certain reporting requirements. It takes effect July 1, 2012.
SB144 - Licensees on Military Deployment (DEPT) - This bill authorizes licensing units within the Department to allow a member of the Armed Forces to renew a professional license late, without payment of a penalty or reinstatement fee, provided that the late renewal is a direct result of an out-of-state deployment. Additionally, the licensing unit may allow a licensee to complete any continuing education or competency requirements for renewal, within a reasonable time, after the license has been renewed. The bill does not apply to professional licenses for mortgage lenders and mortgage loan originators. The bill takes effect July 1, 2012.
SB145 - Real Estate Commission Continuing Education Documentation (DEPT) - This bill allows the Commission to accept certificates of completion for continuing education course work by electronic submission directly from the business or instructor that conducted the course; electronic copies of completion certificates may also be provided to licensees. Beginning January 1, 2013, the commission may require the electronic submission of the certificates by course providers. Required continuing education course work on recent changes in federal, State, or local laws and regulations must include information on recent court cases and industry trends affecting those laws and regulations. The bill is effective Oct. 1, 2012.
SB232 - Elevator Review Board - Licensing (DEPT) - This bill requires the Board to issue licensing certifications and to reinstate expired licenses under specified circumstances. It expands the conditions under which the board may deny a new or renewal license to an applicant, suspend or revoke a license, or reprimand a licensee. It also increases the sanctions available to the board to discipline a licensee and requires that a majority of board members currently serving approve a sanction or license denial, effective October 1, 2012.
Labor and Industry
The Division of Labor and Industry (DLI) measured a large portion of success on the number of bills that did not become law. Bills which attacked the ABC test, a level playing field for employers/independent contractors, and protections for employees were defeated. In addition, several bills attempting to undermine public social/economic laws related to payment of prevailing wages for public works contracts and a living wage for state service contracts failed to surface from committee.
HB607/SB352 - National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Information - Sign Posting Requirements - The legislation requires the State Highway Administration (SHA) and a business owner of a bus station or "truck stop" to post a specified National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline information sign in restrooms. Current law requires that such signage be developed by the Department and posted on the Department's website.
HB1262/SB649 - Environment - Asbestos Worker Protection -The legislation establishes an Asbestos Worker Protection Fund within the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to be used for asbestos worker protection and enforcement activities. The bill specifies the sources of the fund, which include all civil and criminal penalties and fines collected under the Asbestos Removal Subtitle. The maximum civil penalty for violating, whether willfully or not, any provision of the asbestos removal subtitle increases, from $5,000 to $25,000. The bill alters the conditions for accreditation of an individual engaged in an asbestos occupation and requires MDE to adjust its cost recovery fees to include the cost of administering accreditation examinations.
HB1364/SB272 - Workplace Fraud Act Revisions - The legislation exempts specified employers from the presumption under the Workplace Fraud Act that an employer-employee relationship exists between the employer and an individual doing work for the employer if the employer presents specified documentation. It further establishes procedures and timetables for enforcement activities and resolution of disputes under the Act, effective July 1, 2012.
SB226 - Inflatable Amusement Attractions Inspections (DEPT) -This bill exempts an inflatable amusement attraction from required annual inspections if the attraction is designed so that an individual is lower than four feet above the ground while in contact with the attraction, effective October 1, 2012.
The Racing Commission successfully fought back efforts from both houses to undermine existing funding support for the horse industry and horse racing in Maryland. Casino bill legislation was debated with various scenarios providing expanded gambling in 2015, including a statewide referendum on November 6, 2012 but the session resulted in a stalemate.
One of the Commission's bills, HB597, was amended and made an emergency measure, authorizing Arabian breed racing, effective in time for Pimlico's racing season. More details below.
HB590 - Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Advisory Committee - Registration of Horses (DEPT) - This bill alters one of the criteria by which a horse is registered with the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Advisory Committee to enable the horse to start in a Foaled Stakes Program race. The bill specifies that a horse is eligible, provided it was foaled in Maryland, if it was conceived during the previous season by the horse's dam having been covered by a Maryland stallion registered with the advisory committee, effective October 1, 2012.
HB597 - Mile Thoroughbred Racetracks - Payment of Taxes and Impact Aid and Arabian Breed Racing Authorization (DEPT) - This emergency bill extends the time period within which a mile thoroughbred licensee must pay specified pari-mutuel racing taxes to the Maryland Racing Commission from 7 to 10 days after each racing day. The bill also extends the time period, from 3 to 10 days, within which a mile thoroughbred licensee that operates a sending track must pay to the Maryland Racing Commission $1,000 of the impact aid to be paid to specified political subdivisions for each day of intertrack betting. Finally, the bill authorizes Arabian breed races to be conducted at Pimlico Race Course, provided specified conditions are met, effective when signed by Governor.
SB794 - Horse Racing - Purse Dedication Account - Use of Funds for Operating Assistance - These bills make permanent the distribution of up to $1.2 million annually from the Purse Dedication Account (PDA) to Oceans Downs Race Course and Rosecroft Raceway for operating assistance that was first enacted by Chapter 412 of 2011 for calendar 2012 only.
SB49 - Maryland-Bred Race Fund - Administration - This bill authorizes the State Racing Commission to allocate a portion, rather than up to 5%, of the Maryland-Bred Race Fund to races that are restricted to horses that are conceived, but not necessarily foaled, in Maryland. The bill also requires the State Racing Commission to set the amount of specified breeder awards for races both in the State and outside the State. The bill takes effect June 1, 2012.
Workforce Development and Adult Learning
On March 14, Secretary Sanchez participated in the Brody Public Policy Forum: Debating The DREAM Act at the University of Maryland, College Park. The DREAM Act, SB 167, Public Institutions of Higher Education - Tuition Rates - Exemptions, passed in the 2011 Session and Governor O'Malley signed it into law. The legislation provides in-state tuition to Maryland high school graduates regardless of their immigration status. Maryland joins 11 other states, including California, Texas, New York, and Utah, in making college affordable for Maryland high school graduates, provided the students' parents have paid taxes in Maryland and the students are on a path to citizenship. The law faces a referendum vote on November 6, 2012.
The Division received $500,000 General Funds in the FY13 budget to develop a competitive grant for a health care personnel training program.
Several bills were introduced by request on behalf of the Task Force on Prisoner Reentry. The division supported several of these proposals, but only one was successful.
HB493 - Task Force to Study Economic Development and Apprenticeships - This bill establishes the 19-member Task Force to Study Economic Development and Apprenticeships. The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) must provide staffing for the task force. The task force must (1) primarily research the effectiveness of apprenticeship programs in other states and international programs, particularly those in Germany and Switzerland and those in which U.S. businesses participate abroad; (2) consider how existing State apprenticeship programs could be improved based on those programs; (3) address the contribution of secondary schools to successful apprenticeship programs and make specified recommendations; (4) determine whether a major expansion of apprenticeship in the State, through specified programs, is appropriate and feasible; (5) if a major expansion is determined appropriate and feasible, develop and recommend a multiyear expansion plan; and (6) develop and recommend for implementation in the State a pilot apprenticeship program based on the study and research of the task force. The task force must report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by December 1, 2013. The bill terminates December 31, 2013.
Governor's Workforce Investment Board
GWIB supported the efforts of DWDAL during the legislative session in promoting legislation aimed at developing policies and strategies to form a coordinated workforce system from a variety of education, and employment and training programs.
HB457- Transportation - Highway or Capital Transit Construction Training and Supportive Services -This bill requires the State Highway Administration (SHA) to use the maximum feasible amount of specified federal funds to develop, conduct, and administer "highway construction" training and supportive services, including skill improvement programs. The bill instructs MDOT to collaborate with the Governor's Workforce Investment Board. SHA must submit a report on its compliance with the bill's requirements over the two previous calendar years to specified committees of the General Assembly by February 1 annually. The bill takes effect July 1, 2012.