Legislative Update: MD Assembly Passes Midpoint

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The Maryland General Assembly is considering a high volume of bills as it passes the midpoint of its 90 day session. AOBA’s government affairs team has reviewed each of the 2,700 bills introduced and met regularly with our Legislative Committee on bills impacting members. At this stage, most bills are in the process of receiving public hearings. Committee votes on bills during the next two weeks will largely determine the outcome of key legislation. For more information, members may contact AOBA VP Ron Wineholt at rwineholt@aoba-metro.org.

Legislation AOBA Supports

AOBA is supporting several bills that would assist our members on the following issues:

· Notice of Utility Shut-Offs

As amended, HB 128 would allow the owner or property manager of a multifamily dwelling unit to enroll in a program requiring a gas or electric company to notify the property owner or manager prior to terminating gas or electric service to a customer who resides in a multifamily dwelling unit. The bill clarifies that such notice would not alter or impose any new liability on an owner. An owner could also assume responsibility for a customer account and recover payment of an arrearage due as rent.

· Renters Property Tax Credits

HB 340 would increase benefits to renters under the State’s renters’ property tax credit program by adjusting the formula for benefit calculation.

· Lead Risk Reduction Standards – Maintenance of Exemptions

SB 308 and HB 396 would extend from 2 years to 5 years the frequency with which an owner of pre-1978 residential rental property would be required to obtain an MDE-accredited inspection for chipping, peeling or flaking paint on exterior areas of the property, in order to maintain a limited lead-free exemption. Owners would be allowed to self-inspect and certify the absence of chipping, peeling or flaking paint in intervening years. Such exemptions would expire by Oct. 1, 2020 unless the number of units, common areas and exterior surfaces tested were in accordance with specified MDE regulations.