MARYLAND NURSERY AND LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION
Promoting the use of ornamental plants, products and services.  The association supports all constituent groups of the horticulture industry.


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Febru

Maryland Green Industry Council (MaGIC)/Legislative Update 

There are currently several bills before the Maryland State Legislature that we have been following, along with the assistance of our lobbyist, American Joe Miedusiewski.  If you would like to review the text of any of these bills, go to the MD General Assembly website: http://mlis.state.md.us.  Click on bill info and status.  Then type in the bill number with the format HB or SB followed by the bill number.  

We welcome any input and comments you have regarding proposed legislation.  Please contact the office with your feedback. 

House Bill 80 – Concerning the applicability of Nutrient Management Plans.

bulletThis bill serves to increase the minimum gross income of an agricultural operation subject to nutrient management plan requirements.  Old law minimum was $2,500; proposed new minimum is $10,000.  This means those ag operations who gross less than $10,000 annually would not have to file nutrient management plans.
bulletOur position – We take no opposing position. 

 Senate Bill 114 – Concerning the establishment of additional requirements for obtaining a permit for cutting down or trimming roadside trees.

bulletBased on our review of this bill, and input of the Maryland Arborist Association, this bill has no impact on the industry.  It is reinforcement of current law.
bulletOur position – We take no opposing position.

 House Bill 420 – Concerning Pesticide Registration Fees.

bulletThis bill serves to alter the fees for registering a pesticide with the Secretary of Ag. (Distributors are required to register with the MDA each brand or product name, annually, before distributing it in the state of MD).
bulletRaises annual fee to register or terminate a pesticide registration from $60 to $100.
bulletHearing date – Wed., Feb 19th 1:00.
bulletOur position – none taken, yet, pending further review of impact the industry.

House Bill 393  - Concerning the amounts of criminal penalties applicable to and enforcement of laws regarding sediment control, storm water management and wetlands program violations, etc.

bulletThis bill serves to impose civil penalties for violations of sediment control, storm water management and related control programs.  It also allows the court to order restoration of the area unlawfully disturbed. 
bulletHearing date – Feb 20th.
bulletOur position – we have not taken a position on this legislation, pending further review.

Senate Bill 540  - Concerning Use and Access of Restricted Use Pesticide.

bulletThis bill would require, under certain circumstances, employers to conduct criminal background checks; prohibits certain persons from using, applying, etc. restricted use pesticides; provides civil penalties for violations; requires MDA to establish a tracking system of pesticide purchases  . . .
bulletThis bill was proposed last year, but was killed late in the session.
bulletOur position – opposed.
bulletHearing date – not set, yet.  MaGIC is prepared to testify against this bill.

The following is a draft legislation that will be put forth to the General Assembly from the MD Department of Transportation.  We would like your feedback on how such proposed legislation would affect your business.  Please contact the office with your comments.

Synopsis:  The MDOT proposes that intrastate drivers of vehicles with a Gross Vehicular Weight of 10,000 to 25,999 pounds (this includes a lighter weight registered vehicle, that when pulling a trailer puts the vehicle between 10,000 and 25,999 pounds) pass a bi-annual physical qualifying their health to drive.   Drivers would have to provide evidence of having passed the physical.  Individuals employed as of the law’s effective date (most likely Oct 1, 2003) would be grandfathered in for 20 years – they could fail the physical, yet still drive.  Drivers hired after the law’s effective date would have to pass the physical in order to legally drive.

This draft legislation would also serve to raise the legal age to obtain a CDL from 16 to 18.

History:  This requirement is already law for interstate drivers.  The MDOT is proposing this legislation to become compliant with federal law.  If Maryland fails to pass this law, the state risks receipt of over $2 million in federal transportation funding.

Impact on firms – Increased record-keeping and potential increased costs of providing employee physicals.

Other potential bills that are not currently on the legislative agenda, but that we are on the lookout for:

bulletDrought legislation
bulletNew Taxes – service and business to business
bulletNutrient Management Regulation Changes
bulletWater Use Taxes
bulletLand Use and Permits

We will continue monitoring all proposed legislation to determine its impact on Maryland’s Green Industry.  We will continue to keep you informed of all issues that may affect your business.  We ask for your feed back in helping us to represent our industry.  If you have comments or concern about any proposed legislation, please contact our office.

Contact your legislators:  We encourage you to contact your local legislators to make them aware of how proposed legislation will affect your business.  You can contact your legislators through via telephone, U.S. mail or e-mail.  The MD General Assembly website (http://mlis.state.md.us) provides any contact information you need.  You can even type in your zip code to find out who your representatives are.  If you don’t have access to the web, and would like this information, please contact the office. 

 

Classified Advertising Opportunities

The MNLA is now offering a classified advertising page on its website and in The Free State Nursery and Landscape News.  If you’re either looking or have a job opportunity to post, we encourage use of MNLA media.  The MNLA office receives frequent requests from individuals looking for a horticulture job in Maryland. 

The fee structure is $15 for a single month on the website, or $40 for three months on the website and a listing in the quarterly FSNLN publication.  Photos can be put on the website for an additional $5.  Please contact the MNLA with your advertising info.

 

Miscellaneous

President Jim McWilliams is supervising the production of a PowerPoint (a computerized slide-show) program that will be used to promote the MNLA.  If you have any uncopywrited electronic pictures that you would be willing to let Jim use – of your employees, your operation, etc., please forward them to him.  His e-mail address is: jim.maxalea@mycomcast.com.

For your calendar:

Maryland Home and Garden Show – Feb 28-March 2; March 7 – 9, 2003.  State fairgrounds in Timonium.

Field Day at Waverly Farm – June 12, 2003

Summer Nursery tour in conjunction with the MGGA – July 10, 2003

 

P.O. Box 726 - Brooklandville, Maryland 21022
Phone: 410-823-8684  Fax: 410-296-8288   E-mail: mnacma@aol.com