Eastern Shore Delegation raise concerns for small businesses over proposed legislation

SALISBURY, Md. – The Eastern Shore Delegation is concerned about some new legislation being proposed in Annapolis, and the effects they would have on small businesses.

In a meeting Friday, the delegates raised concerns over the proposed Maryland Family Medical Leave Act, which they say would be difficult to implement for small businesses, as the measure would be entirely funded by small businesses and their employees, with no state funding going towards paying workers during periods of medical leave.

Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce President Bill Chambers tells 47ABC they are all for workers being able to take time off for emergencies, but the state needs to chip in tax dollars to help the program run. He says the exemption made for businesses with 15 or fewer workers should be broadened and does not want to see workers at these businesses see a pay cut to finance this program. 

“It is a payroll tax and at this time with our economy, with our hospitality industry still reeling this is not the time to start a payroll tax in the state of Maryland, and we are against the bill in its current form but we are not against employees being able to take time off for emergencies if they need to,” he said. 

Bill Chambers says is the plan for legalizing recreational marijuana as a ballot measure in November would prove problematic for employers on the Eastern Shore.

Chambers tells us, current marijuana testing is not able to determine the time period with which judgment was impaired, and testing would be ineffective at determining potential negligence during industrial accidents. He says many industries on the Eastern Shore rely on workers operating farming, transport, and medical equipment. He tells us the liability for companies would rise if marijuana was legalized, yet these gaps in testing continued.

“If you use marijuana, the THC can stay in your system for days and weeks and if they are tested it doesn’t mean they are under the influence but it will show up in their system,” Chambers said. He says if implemented, many industries will revert to the federal guidelines or list marijuana use as cause for the termination in contracts in certain fields.

Also a subject of concern for the delegation, a measure that seeks to limit price gouging by locking in prices for retail goods during States of Emergency as declared by the Governor. Chambers tells us the proposed rule is well-meaning, but will in effect block businesses’ ability to adapt to inflation, as well as lock in any temporary sale on items for the entire duration of a State of Emergency, as well as 90 days after its conclusion.

“I understand what the intent is and it is well-meaning, but inflation is still going on and if you block a business’s ability to react when the prices of products rise during that state of emergency,” Chambers said.

Categories: Local News, Local Politics, Maryland