Mark Twain once said, “No man’s life, liberty, or happiness are safe when the legislature is in session.”

This has never been truer as close to 2,800 bills were heard by 188 legislators during the Maryland General Assembly’s 90-day session in Annapolis. The MACPA was there on the final night, which happened to be the 117th anniversary of the passage of the CPA Act, which was the beginning of our profession in Maryland and the Maryland Association of CPAs.

Here is our report from the closing night of the session, sine die.

We are claiming victory as our core agenda was very successful.

Our approach is to be proactive with our legislative advocacy, which includes feedback from our town hall meetings, input from our managing partner calls, a review by our legislative executive committee, and approval by our Board of Directors. We work on offense by supporting proactive bills on behalf of the CPA profession, and on defense by working to stop bills that would adversely impact our profession and our members. The cornerstone of our advocacy efforts started with CPA Day in Annapolis on Jan. 26, when more than 200 CPAs came to have their voices heard.

Here is a quick recap of our 2917 legislative results:

Offense

  • Maryland Taxpayer Protection Act, sponsored by Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot: PASSED
  • Small Business Appeal Bond Caps (tort reform): Not introduced

Defense

  • Stop sales taxes on services: Not introduced (prevented an impact from a taxable engineering service on accounting services)
  • Stop comparative fault (tort liability): Not introduced
  • Stop nullification of non-disclosure agreements and non-competes: DEFEATED
  • Stop – Mandatory Sick Leave (compliance burden) – PASSED will be vetoed by Governor

Additional defense (bills that came up for first time this year)

  • Increased filing fees for personal property returns: DEFEATED
  • Increased overtime requirements based on failed Department of Labor overtime regulationDEFEATED
  • Removal of audit requirement by cemetery board: DEFEATED
  • Equal pay and salary disclosures: DEFEATED
  • Supervision of occupational and professions under the DLLR (N.C. dental Supreme Court case): PASSED with amendment 

The role of our grassroots was captured by Daniel Menefee, a reporter from MarylandReporter.com, who wrote, “(Delegate) Adams said many CPAs in his district complained more about the proposal than the current sick leave bill moving through the legislature.”

Another highlight of this year’s session was the proclamation by Gov. Hogan honoring past MACPA Chair Kimberly Ellison-Taylor as the first African-American to chair the American Institute of CPAs’ Board of Directors in the Institute’s 127-year history. She is also the first AICPA chair to come from the state of Maryland. The proclamation was presented by state Sen. Brian Feldman, a CPA and MACPA member.

CPAs, your lives, liberty, and happiness are safe until next year.

The 2018 edition of CPA Day in Annapolis is set for Jan. 25. Registration is free and includes two hours of free CPE.

Follow all of our legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts on our MACPA blog.

More recaps:

 

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