Chamber Outlines Legislative Priorities For Assembly Session

SALISBURY – Business leaders in Salisbury say issues involving employer mandates, workforce development and broadband top the list of legislative priorities for 2022.

With the Maryland General Assembly convening this week, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce has released its list of legislative priorities and critical issues for the 2022 session.

“The regional business community continues to be adversely impacted by the pandemic,” said President and CEO Bill Chambers. “Legislative leaders in Annapolis must recognize the value of our small businesses throughout Maryland and craft legislation to promote a vibrant business environment across the board.”

Chambers said Lower Shore businesses, including the chamber’s 700 members, are concerned about proposed employer mandates in the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session. The chamber’s priorities outline its opposition to unreasonably restrictive shift scheduling requirements, expanded paid leave mandates, new customer data privacy regulations and certain tax proposals.

“The business community is concerned about any new taxes for the use of gasoline, natural gas and other greenhouse gases, increasing costs to taxpayers while having no impact on emissions originating in neighboring states,” Chambers added, “and the Chamber opposes any new taxes on services not currently listed in Maryland law.”

Chambers noted the chamber also supported several legislative efforts in the coming session, including state transportation infrastructure projects, 5G and broadband accessibility, expanded career and technical education opportunities and a healthy balance to the unemployment insurance trust fund.

He also shared the chamber’s support for resolving issues related to the application of sales tax on digital products and services.

“In addition to onerous employer mandates, critical issues include greater investment in rural broadband, State investment in workforce development for the shore, and the resolution of interpretation issues surrounding the new ‘digital downloads tax’ passed in the 2021 General Assembly Session,” he said.

The 2022 session of the Maryland General Assembly will convene on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.