Lawmakers in Annapolis face a number of challenges this session. Maryland’s budget deficit is estimated to be $1.6 billion. The recently enacted federal health care law will require sweeping changes to state health insurance laws. The state faces billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities over the next 30 years. And, there are 10 new senators and 30 new delegates to bring up to speed.
The current state of the economy presents extraordinary challenges for Maryland businesses. The Maryland Chamber’s priorities for the 2011 General Assembly session focus on enhancing Maryland’s business climate and avoiding additional tax and regulatory burdens that will cost the state jobs and business investment. Here are a few of our priorities for 2011:
Enhance the Business Climate and Encourage Job Growth
We support policies and incentives to encourage more economic development, tourism and research and development in Maryland in order to create and retain high paying jobs. We encourage the General Assembly to provide employers a predictable regulatory climate and avoid over-regulating the marketplace, or the workplace.
Seek a Competitive Tax Structure
Taxes are an important factor in the cost of doing business. While a fair tax system will stimulate economic growth and job creation, disproportionate tax burdens will cost the state jobs and business investment. Maryland employers are working to retain and create jobs. Now is not the time for state or local governments to impose new tax burdens on employers.
Protect Fair Civil Liability Laws
The ability of a company to receive fair treatment from a state’s legal system influences business decisions regarding job creation and business location. Actions that expand business liability by creating new causes of action to sue businesses or increase business liability costs will damage Maryland’s business climate and should be opposed.
You can view our complete Business Agenda here.
Every Maryland employer, regardless of size, industry or location, is impacted by the decisions made in Annapolis. Reach out to your lawmakers and encourage them to support pro-business public policy. We may not agree on every issue. But in these tough economic times, I think we can all agree on the importance of job creation and sustained economic growth.