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New state legislation taking effect (2023)

The state’s 2024 fiscal year started July 1, 2023. On that day a number of enacted bills became law. These include:

  1. The state budget, which includes raises and COLA adjustments negotiated by our state employee unions, AFT-Healthcare Maryland Local 5197 and Maryland Professional Employees Council Local 6197. Employees covered by those union contracts will get their step increase as well as 2% COLA adjustment.
  2. A new Public Employee Labor Relations Board: that merged three separate labor boards. The board has the power to:
    • Efficiently resolve disputes between employers and employees, and their unions;
    • Oversee representation questions for public employees looking to be represented by a union.

      Governor Moore announced his appointments for the five seats on the labor board: Michael Hayes, chair, is the former lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board; Harriet Cooperman, former chair of the Higher Education Labor Relations Board;  Richard Steyer, former chair of the State Labor Relations Board; Judith Rivlin, former AFSCME General Counsel; and Lynn Ohmam, former NEA director of collective bargaining. Erica Snipes, previous executive director for the three labor boards, was named acting executive director. 

      To keep up to date on the happenings of the Labor Board, check in periodically with our blog, or visit

  1. Recreational Cannabis legalization: Maryland’s new cannabis law went into effect July 1st, and sales have topped $84M for the first month. With a 9% sales tax, roughly $4.6M in revenues have been generated for the state.

    Roughly half of the revenues generated go into a newly created Community Reinvestment and Repair fund, which will be distributed to local communities most impacted by the disproportionate drug enforcement prior to cannabis legalization.

    The other half will go directly into the state’s general fund. Early projections forecast it to increase by $17M this year, $31M next year, and $50M in FY 2026. 

    These revenue projects come as welcome news as state leaders have expressed concern about a potential shortfall due to the federal COVID funds expiring. A June 2023 report released by the Department of Legislative Services projected a state deficit of $418M in Fiscal Year 2025. 

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