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Legislative Session Review: Maryland

By Thomas Di Biasio | May 31, 2018
Topics: Adjournment

Maryland - Adjournment Graphic

Maryland adjourned its 2018 legislative session sine die on April 9, and Governor Larry Hogan (R) finished acting on the bills sent to his desk on May 28. During this year’s session, Maryland legislators agreed to collect $380 million in taxes from health insurers in an effort to repair the state’s individual marketplace developed under the Affordable Care Act. In response to the federal government's tax overhaul, Governor Hogan signed tax relief bills (SB 184/HB 365) into law. Maryland also joined the list of states vying for Amazon’s “HQ2” with the passage of the PRIME Act. Finally, the legislature was able to pass a series of crime and education bills this legislative session.

Legislative Highlights

  • Governor Hogan approved a tax relief plan for Marylanders on April 15, which alters the determination of the number of exemptions that an individual may use to calculate a certain deduction under the Maryland income tax.
  • A bipartisan deal was deal struck on legislation (SB1267/HB1795) requiring the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to establish a state reinsurance program.
  • Maryland topped the list of states offering incentives for Amazon’s second head quarters by offering up to $8.5 billion in tax and infrastructure incentives.

Election Preview

Maryland voters go to the polls on November 6 for the general election. Governor Hogan (R) will be seeking reelection without facing a Republican in the primary, while nine Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination in a June 26 primary. Winning eight of the last 10 gubernatorial races, Democrats have historically had success in Maryland. However, Governor Hogan has one of the highest gubernatorial approval ratings in the country at 68 percent. November statewide elections will also be held for the lieutenant governor, attorney general, and comptroller.

Primary elections for the Maryland legislature also be held in June. A total of 141 house seats and 47 senate seats are up for election in November. To break up Democrats’ veto-proof majority, Republicans need to gain five Senate seats and seven House seats in November. Additionally, those elected this November will serve through 2022, giving them a key role in Maryland’s redistricting process.

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