Harford County Representatives Discuss Upcoming Session at Harford Chamber’s Pre-Legislative Breakfast
October 7, 2021
Bel Air, MD – On Thursday, September 30th, The Harford County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Pre-Legislative Forum to keep members informed on key issues. Sponsored by Harford Community College, The Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development, and The Greater Harford Committee, the event brought together local business representatives with their elected officials. The panel of legislators included Delegates Kathy Szeliga, Steve Johnson, Mike Griffith, Susan McComas, Mary Ann Lisanti, Teresa Reilly, and Senators Bob Cassilly, Jason Gallion, and J.B. Jennings. Unable to attend the event were Delegates Lauren Arikan and Rick Impallaria.
Dr. Theresa B. Felder, President of Harford Community College, offered an update on the success of expanded programming, including the recently opened Harford’s Leading Edge Training Center powered by the Ratcliffe Foundation. The Leading Edge Training Center will empower residents with knowledge, skills, and abilities to secure careers and earn head-of-household wages that will enhance their quality of life.
Lee Tayson, Harford Chamber Board Chair welcomed attendees and introduced Harford County Executive Barry Glassman. “I am proud of our business community for their resilience through the pandemic, and my administration will continue working to support them along with our good partners at the Harford County Chamber,” Glassman stated.
Angela Rose, President and CEO of the Harford County Chamber, presented business-related legislative issues to the panel. Most legislators expressed their opposition of the Digital Advertising Tax that became effective in March of this year because of the financial burden on our local businesses.
Senators Gallion and Cassilly and Delegate Griffith showed support of Second Chance employment as a means of re-integration for prisoners while filling jobs. Cassilly said he’s introduced legislation over the years to reduce liability for businesses taking on Second Chance employees.
As many industries face workforce shortages, legislators are encouraging job-seekers to explore certification programs and careers in trade. Delegate Lisanti hosted a job fair in August, with hundreds of jobs available from the organizations present.
Senator Jennings praised the delegation’s ability to work together for positive change, but said that deflating salaries due to unemployment and the federal debt crisis could bring negative impacts for our community.
Delegate Szeliga predicted legislative priorities for the year will include redistricting with no large tax proposals as it is an election year. Most panelists also mentioned in their remarks that redistricting with equal representation will be a primary focus.
Senator Jennings warned to be wary of proposed radical legislation displayed on campaign materials, which realistically would not have any chance of passing.
Delegate Reilly foresees the legalization, licensing process, and taxation of recreational marijuana as possible issues this upcoming session.
Delegate Johnson urged local businesses and organizations to share how upcoming legislation would impact them by contacting their representatives.
To learn more about the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and stay up-to-date on their advocacy efforts, visit HarfordChamber.org.
About the Harford County Chamber of Commerce: The Harford County Chamber of Commerce has worked continually as the recognized voice of business in Harford County since 1976. The Harford Chamber is the premier business advocate in the county, helping members connect and thrive to create a vibrant economy across all sectors.
For more information, please contact Kate Rodriguez at Kate@HarfordChamber.org.Share This Post