Session wrap-up: Maryland legislators support worker training, cybersecurity

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Session wrap-up: Maryland legislators support worker training, cybersecurity:

Maryland lawmakers drew the 2013 session to a close Monday night.

Legislators, government leaders and economic development partners in business, tourism and the arts supported several new initiatives associated with the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development.

Key bills and priorities, related to the economy and approved by the legislature, include the following:

Maryland Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Program (full text)

  • Provides $4.5 million in grants annually to invest in Maryland’s workforce
  • Allows the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and DBED to work together to equip workers with the skills demanded by industries such as construction, manufacturing, cyber and health care
  • Develops training programs with workforce centers, community colleges and employers that demand skilled workers
  • Establishes the “Train Maryland” website to connect job seekers with training programs to develop the skills they need to compete for jobs

Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 (full text)

  • Helps Maryland become a leader in offshore wind energy production and benefits citizens by providing jobs in an emerging energy industry
  • Establishes a process to review offshore wind projects in Maryland
  • Establishes the Maryland Offshore Wind Business Development Fund and advisory committee to provide financial assistant and encourage businesses to participate in offshore wind

Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 (full explanation)

  • Attempts to repair Maryland’s broken transportation infrastructure, defined by some of the longest commute times and worst traffic congestion in the nation
  • Allows Maryland to make the necessary improvements to cut down on commute times, get people to work, and make Maryland more productive
  • Raises the gas tax over the next three years
  • Ensures that funds will continue to be available for the necessary improvements to Maryland’s transportation network by linking the gas tax to inflation and implementing a “lockbox” provision on these funds to ensure they are used exclusively on transportation improvements

Public-Private Partnerships (full text)

  • Allows the state to partner with private entities to deliver public assets in a way that shares risk between the state and private partners
  • Enables the state to efficiently provide valuable services by utilizing the business expertise of private partners
  • Provides a clear process to establish a public-private partnership and provides the necessary oversight of these relationships

Maryland Research and Development Tax Credit (full text)

  • Increases both the Basic and Growth Research and Development Tax Credits from $3 million to $4 million annually
  • Updates an incentive created by the General Assembly in 2000 that has kept high paying and easily transferable research and development jobs in Maryland
  • Makes credits refundable to small businesses

Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit (full text)

  • Establishes a tax credit for investment in start-up cybersecurity companies that will help solidify Maryland’s place as a cybersecurity leader in both the government and commercial spaces
  • Provides a refundable tax credit to qualified Maryland cybersecurity companies that seek and secure capital from an in-state or out-of-state investor
  • Funds the tax credit at $3 million for fiscal year 2014
  • Allows Maryland to promote the development of start-up cybersecurity companies that provide greater revenues for the state

InvestMaryland Program program enhancements (full text)

  • Alters the InvestMaryland program with technical amendments will help ensure that investments made under the program are properly authorized
  • Allows for easier negotiations with venture funds and provides for more realistic reporting windows
  • Ensures that the Maryland Venture Fund Authority is able to make high quality investments that will provide substantial returns for the state

Film Tax Credit (full text)

  • Provides $25 million in tax credits in fiscal year 2014 and $7.5 million in fiscal years 2015 and 2016
  • Allows the state to retain the productions of HBO’s series “Veep” and Netflix’s online series “House of Cards” in Maryland
  • Continues success of tax credits that in previous three fiscal years provided a projected economic impact to Maryland exceeding $180 million

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cybersecurity, Maryland, States, Tech News
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