Legislative Update FEB18

And the beat goes on …

Forty-nine and 3,093 are numbers that tell us where we stand in the legislative process known as the Maryland General Assembly. In the forty-nine days that have just passed 3,093 bills have been introduced. Those who measure movement by numbers may also be interested to know that there are 41 days remaining before the legislature adjourns. The filing deadline for those wishing to throw their hat in the ring to become an office holder is four hours away. At 9:00pm this evening some incumbents and office seekers will experience heartburn or joy as they peruse the final list of candidates they will be facing over the summer primary and into the fall General election.

In keeping with a numbers theme, AIA Maryland is tracking about 37 bills of interest to licensed architects. I say about 37, because some will be withdrawn and others will be introduced regardless of the bill introduction deadline having passed.

Today, Past President Dan Bailey and Secretary Adam Read testified in favor of Senate Bill 1020, Procurement – Architectural Services and Engineering Services – Reciprocal Preference.  AIA Maryland has a completed a multi-year effort to determine how much work in dollars, jobs and taxes leaves our State when out-of-town architectural firms are awarded Maryland contracts over equally qualified local firms.

A study conducted by the Sage Policy Group reveals that over 25% of awards for architectural services are secured by firms not headquartered in Maryland. Local procurement share can be as low as 48% depending on the size of the individual awards. While contracts for Maryland firms accounted for 2,000 total jobs, an additional 2,250 Maryland jobs would have been supported since mid-2004 had Maryland firms been awarded contracts which went to non-resident firms.  Maryland firms will have more work,  more jobs and, the State will have more revenue should SB1020 and HB1557 (the House version of SB1020) pass.

Though it appears the session is at the halfway mark the bulk of the work is merely beginning. Days filled with long debates in the House and Senate chambers, committee hearings over-scheduled with bills and conference committees to work out difficult compromises await.

AIA Maryland remains at work for increased historic tax credits, school construction for quality learning environments, and the ability to continue to design wood frame construction in Maryland.