July 29, 2021 Roll Call 2021 Press Release

Annual Scorecard Released: Identifies Maryland’s Pro-Business/Pro-Jobs Legislators

COLUMBIA, MD, July 26 – The Maryland Free Enterprise Foundation (Maryland Free), formerly known as Maryland Business for Responsive Government (MBRG), a statewide, nonpartisan, non-profit organization, has released the 2021 edition of its annual publication, Roll Call, now available online at www.marylandfree.org/roll-call/.

Each year, Maryland Free’s State Advisory Council selects recorded votes from the most recent General Assembly session that affect—positively or negatively—a healthy business climate and job growth throughout Maryland. Maryland Free identifies these bills in Roll Call and analyzes the votes to produce a score for each legislator.

For the 2021 analysis, Roll Call analyzed 15 Senate votes and 19 House votes.

“In spite of the massive economic downturn caused by the pandemic, the 2021 General Assembly continued a recent trend of passing bills that make it harder or more expensive to be an employer or business owner in Maryland. We desperately need to reverse this trend to keep Maryland economically viable”, said Scott Dorsey, Maryland Free’s board chair and CEO of Merritt Companies.

The 2021 Roll Call includes bills that expand mandated paid leave, increase a multitude of employment costs, establish taxes (through veto override) on digital products, dampen employers’ ability to hire by liberalizing unemployment benefits, mandate the makeup of private boards of directors, dramatically raise fees on landlords, and create a very one-sided, bounty-style incentive for disgruntled employees to accuse employers of tax evasion.

The few bright spots included a tax incentive to hire military veterans, a limited liability provision for employers who involve themselves in a peace order for an employee, and a truly consequential bill that may prevent massive hikes in unemployment insurance rates in 2022 and 2023 due to pandemic effects.

About the Maryland Free Enterprise Foundation (Maryland Free)

Maryland Free is a statewide, nonpartisan political research and education organization supported by corporations, trade associations, chambers of commerce, and individuals. Its purpose is to inform Maryland’s business community, elected officials, and the general public about the political and economic environment needed to foster economic development and job creation in Maryland. Annual evaluations of the voting records of Maryland’s state and federal legislators enable Maryland Free and its members to hold politicians accountable for the state’s economic well-being like no other organization.

About Roll Call

Roll Call is compiled by an independent advisory council of corporations, trade associations, small businesses, chambers of commerce, and other business and trade organizations involved in the 90-day session in Annapolis. The purpose of Roll Call is to educate, inform, and empower Maryland employers, business owners, and others to engage in a dialogue with elected officials on issues critical to a healthy economic development climate in Maryland. Maryland Free has been issuing its annual report card for 35 years.

The 2021 edition of Roll Call can be downloaded at www.MarylandFree.org/Roll-Call.