View our 2022 Legislative Review recording here on TAM's Youtube page: https://youtu.be/Ob4mcYSdrdQ

The Maryland General Assembly convened for the 90-day Legislative Session on January 12, 2022. The Senate of Maryland and House of Delegates began the session virtually given the difficulties of meeting in-person because of COVID-19 and the prevalence of the Delta variant. It was not until shortly after the Valentine's Day holiday, that the Senate began in-person hearings. The House remained virtual.

TAM reviewed approximately the 2,500 bills introduced and met to determine the impact of the bill and how TAM would support, amend, or oppose the legislation. This included TAM's priority bill, HB1019 (SB0838)-Transportation - Elderly and Handicapped Transportation Service - County Funding, which would secure an SSTAP baseline funding for future years and increase that amount with inflation. This is an essential first and long overdue effort to assist transit providers with the rise in costs and increase in demand for the SSTAP-provided services.

After many meetings with the Administration and General Assembly, TAM finalized the language of the legislation and asked advocates Delegate Karen Lewis-Young (D, Frederick County) and Senator Ron Young (D, Frederick County) to sponsor and introduce the legislation on behalf of TAM.

TAM members met virtually and in-person in Annapolis to educate elected officials and interested stakeholders on the bill and to garner support, emphasize impact to their constituents or members, and answer questions. TAM's legislation received the endorsement by the General Assembly Transit Caucus and after successful hearings in the Senate and House, the Senate unanimously voted in support of TAM's legislation. The bill was then heard in the House of Delegates where it was heard for a second time and again, unanimously voted. For the Senate version of the bill, that meant completing the legislative hurdles a bill must undergo to become law. This bill has been sent to the Governor for his review and signature and unless vetoed by the Governor, the bill will become law and take effect July 1, 2022.



A review of the other bills that TAM monitored include:

SB0210 /CH0118--  
Tax Credits - Employer-Provided Commuter Benefits - Expansion and Administration

This departmental bill expands the existing commuter benefit income tax credit by extending eligibility to certain employer-funded programs for (1) carpools; (2) walking and biking to work; (3) teleworking; and (4) multimodal commuting. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) must administer the credit and may award a maximum of $1.0 million in credits each year. The bill takes effect July 1, 2022.

HB1391 /CH0234- Clean Cars Act of 2022

This bill (1) reestablishes the qualified plug-in electric vehicle and fuel cell electric vehicle excise tax credit and extends eligibility to certain vehicles and property; (2) establishes the Medium-Duty and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Grant Program within the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA); and (3) requires, in specified fiscal years, certain transfers and appropriations from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF) and mandated appropriations. The bill takes effect July 1, 2022.

HB0778 /CH0054(SB0514/CH0052)- Transportation - Investment Program - MARC Rail Service (Maryland Regional Rail Transformation Act)

This bill requires the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to establish individual investment programs to advance the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Cornerstone Plan and other MARC improvements, as specified. The bill also requires MTA to (1) advance specified rail priority projects as part of the investment programs, as specified and (2) conduct a MARC Cornerstone Plan Implementation Study. In addition, the bill establishes a Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) Workgroup to examine specified funding issues. The workgroup must be staffed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) and submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 16, 2022. The bill takes effect July 1, 2022.

SB 61/HB 10- Maryland Transit Administration - Conversion to Zero-Emission Buses (Zero- Emission Bus Transition Act Revisions)

This bill requires the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to (1) provide safety and workforce development training (including registered apprenticeships and other labor-management training programs) for its workforce related to the new zero-emission buses that it is required to purchase under the Zero Emission Transition Act (Chapter 693 of 2021) and (2) include additional information in the annual transition report required by Chapter 693. The bill takes effect July 1, 2022.


SB0528 /CH0038- Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022

This bill makes broad changes to the State’s approach to reducing statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and addressing climate change. Among other things, the bill (1) increases the statewide GHG emissions reduction requirement and requires the State to achieve net-zero statewide GHG emissions by 2045; (2) establishes new and alters existing energy conservation requirements for buildings; (3) increases and extends specified energy efficiency and conservation program requirements; (4) establishes requirements for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the State fleet; and (5) establishes new entities and new special funds to support related activities. The bill takes effect June 1, 2022; specified provisions terminate June 30, 2024, December 31, 2029, and June 30, 2030.