The Latest: Maryland Senate OKs Amazon bill
Mar. 20, 2018
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Latest on the Maryland General Assembly reaching its crossover day (all times local):
The Maryland Senate has voted for a $5.6 billion package of tax incentives to try to lure Amazon's second headquarters to Maryland.
The Senate voted 35-11 Monday night for the bill. It now goes to the House.
The Amazon measure includes a package of state income, property and sales tax credits. The three main components of the legislation include a tax credit on wages paid, sales and use tax breaks for building the headquarters and a tax break on increases in property value.
Supporters say Amazon would have to create 40,000 jobs at an average salary of $100,000 to be eligible. That means the company would pay wages of $4 billion, in addition to the $4.5 billion it's estimated the cost of a new plant and equipment would be.
Taxes on casino revenue set aside for Maryland's education trust fund would have to be used to enhance school funding above state formulas, under a measure passed by the Maryland Senate.
The vote Monday night was unanimous. The bill would put the matter on the ballot as a constitutional amendment for voters to decide in November.
Supporters say it could add roughly $500 million a year when fully phased in over four years.
The move comes as lawmakers look ahead to next year, when a state commission is expected to recommend that lawmakers raise Maryland's education funding formulas.
Before the vote, hundreds of people rallied outside the statehouse ringing bells and chanting: "Fix the fund."
Maryland's House of Delegates has approved legislation to help prevent the collapse of the Maryland Health Care Exchange's individual market.
The House passed the second of two bills that are part of the plan on Monday.
The measures would use about $340 million that health insurance companies and managed care organizations won't have to pay in taxes due to the federal tax overhaul. The money will be used to keep rates down over the next year and create a pathway to a long-term solution through reinsurance, which protects insurers against very high claims.
The Senate also has advanced legislation and is scheduled to take the measures up Monday night.
The Maryland General Assembly is reaching a milestone in its 90-day legislative session.
Monday is crossover day. That's a deadline set by lawmakers for a bill to pass either the House or the Senate to have a chance of clearing both chambers and making it to the governor's desk.
It's not a rule that's written in stone, and it doesn't mean a measure can't pass both chambers if it fails to meet the deadline. But lawmakers generally aim to have legislation they intend to pass clear one of the chambers by the end of the crossover day.
There are three weeks left in the session, which is scheduled to adjourn Monday, April 9 at midnight.