Maryland State Builders Association
2007 marked the first session for newly elected Governor O’Malley and roughly a third of the Legislature. Although the structural deficit still loomed, very few tax bills passed during session. However, 2480 bills and 15 resolutions were introduced and by the time the 2007 session came to a close, a total of 798 bills had gained final approval, along with two joint resolutions. The Senate of Maryland passed 346 bills and one joint resolution. The House of Delegates passed 452 bills and one joint resolution. From a building industry standpoint, the passage of a licensing requirement for new homes sales agents was the most significant loss and the defeat of an impervious surface tax and the expansion of standing in zoning and planning proceedings were the biggest successes.
Land use legislation that passed this session includes a modest eminent domain bill and a measure to allow flexible spending of program open space funds by counties. Legislation seeking to expand standing to community associations died in committee after a vigorous lobbying effort by the industry.
There were a number of environmental proposals introduced in the legislature this year with mixed results. A study of the growth allocation process in Critical Areas was formed and a bill requiring an environmental site design model ordinance for local jurisdictions passed. The re-introduced golf course redevelopment measure, an impervious surface tax bill (green fund) and a water pollution control measure failed.
The licensing of new home sales agents legislation passed in spite of efforts to kill it on the floor of the Senate. However, MSAB was successful in killing a move to require condominium projects to comply with subdivisions regulations and a homeowner’s association control measure that would have required earlier turnover of an HOA to the unit owners.
The 2007 General Assembly Session Report provides a synopsis of the major issues considered by the Legislature affecting the building industry, a progress report of all legislation monitored during the session, voting records of Delegates and Senators on selected issues and statistical information showing the number and types of bills followed by the MSBA Legislative Committee. The report is designed to provide a snapshot of the session, with a focus on the most important bills.