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The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2020 Legislative Agenda which includes a focus on business climate, tourism, economic & community development, education, healthcare and infrastructure.

The issues included in the Chamber’s agenda are those items that the Garrett County Chamber believes could have the biggest impact through legislative action.

The top legislative priorities for the Chamber in 2020 are:

  1. Support Small Business Participation in Association Health Plans
  2. Oppose Mandated Increases of Local Share Funding of Education
  3. Support $1 Million Appropriation for Deep Creek Lake Dredging
  4. Oppose Unnecessary Workplace Regulations Such as Predictive Scheduling & FMLA Insurance Fund
  5. Support Additional $2 Million Annual Allocation for State Lakes Protection & Restoration Fund 

“The Chamber’s Legislative Affairs Committee spends several months discussing what issues to include in the agenda and which ones to make our top priorities,” said Steve Green, Legislative Affairs Committee chair. “With only one Senator and one Delegate representing Garrett County in the Legislature, it is important that we are vocal about our priorities and that we are aggressive with our advocacy efforts in order to make an impact. Additionally, we have new leadership in both Chambers that may not be as familiar with Garrett County and our priorities as past leaders.”

“Our Committee and Board of Directors do a fantastic job developing a legislative agenda that helps to focus the efforts of our lobbyist, Dennis Rasmussen, and provides a guide of legislation for which to watch,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber President & CEO. “The legislature will consider more than 2,000 pieces of legislation and our local businesses do not have time to review every bill. The Chamber will track legislation and provide periodic updates on bills and hearings throughout the session via our General Assembly Update electronic newsletter. We will advocate for bills that positively impact Garrett County and oppose those that do not.”

This year, it is expected that a focal area of the General Assembly will be the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations. However, the Chamber also anticipates the return of some anti-business legislation that has been discussed in the past, and both topics could have significant negative impacts on businesses in Garrett County.

“It will be extremely important for Garrett County to be visible and be heard in Annapolis this session,” said Christian.  “I commend those that get involved in the legislative process by contacting their Senator and Delegate, travelling to Annapolis to testify at hearings or submitting written testimony. It is so important for legislators to receive input from those directly impacted by the policy being made.”

To view the full Garrett County Chamber of Commerce 2020 Legislative Agenda and the 2020 Session dates, please log onto visitdeepcreek.com/pages/Legislative. The 441st session of the General Assembly convenes on January 8, 2020 and is scheduled to adjourn April 6. For more information on the Maryland General Assembly, visit mgaleg.maryland.gov.