ANNAPOLIS, Md.—This evening, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to establish a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.
Mary Kane, president and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement in response:
The Maryland General Assembly passed a $1 billion payroll tax on Maryland businesses and working families. During a time when inflation is exceeding 8% for the first time in forty years and Marylanders are struggling to afford basic necessities – gas, groceries and housing – legislative leadership is choosing to add yet another deduction to the paychecks of working Marylanders and struggling businesses. It is a cost Marylanders simply can’t afford.
The workforce shortage continues to be one of the major issues facing small businesses. In response businesses are voluntarily raising wages, providing workers with more schedule flexibility and offering employees more opportunities and benefits. This costly leave mandate and new payroll tax will negatively impact Maryland’s economy by further stressing our already over-taxed businesses and placing the funding burden squarely on the backs of our workforce. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce and our network of businesses across the state are disappointed that the General Assembly flip-flopped from the original proposal of establishing a commission to thoroughly evaluate the effects and cost implications of such a program.
The bill that passed tonight was put together in a back room with the final version allowing limited input from Maryland stakeholders. We have been vocal on our desire to see a comprehensive evaluation of a paid family and medical leave insurance program before pressing forward with an ill-conceived, cost-prohibitive program like the one just voted on.
We are hopeful Governor Hogan will veto this dangerous legislation, protecting Maryland’s businesses and working families from another tax when they can least afford it.