Montgomery County Council unanimously enacts Bill 10-19, which strengthens the Council’s economic impact statement for each bill introduced. From the Office of Councilmember Andrew Friedson

19 Aug, 2019

Bill would require a thorough evaluation of potential economic impacts on businesses and taxpayers

ROCKVILLE, Md., the Council unanimously enacted Councilmember Andrew Friedson-sponsored Bill 10-19, Legislative Branch – Economic Impact Statements – Amendments, which strengthens the Council’s Economic Impact Statement (EIS) for each bill introduced by requiring a thorough evaluation of potential economic impacts on businesses and taxpayers. Bill 10-19 also requires the independent Office of Legislative Oversight to take over the EIS process, the first step toward hiring a professional economist to conduct this critical work. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors.

“The County’s private sector is crucial to the overall economic health of Montgomery County,” said Councilmember Andrew Friedson, who serves on the Government and Fiscal Policy Committee and is the Lead for Parks on the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee. “Bill 10-19 is an important step in reaffirming the Council’s commitment to evaluating all factors that may impact our economic future, not just on the County’s budget but on the budget of County businesses and taxpayers.”

“It’s essential that the Council and the public have a complete picture of the regulatory and economic impacts that enacting any new law may have on our economy and our competitiveness in the Washington metropolitan region. Bill 10-19 will require a detailed economic evaluation that will provide this essential information before any bill is enacted.”

The goal of this bill is to ensure that the economic impacts of new legislation on residents, on the County’s budget and on businesses and other stakeholders is thoroughly assessed and is available to all. Bill 10-19 mandates that each EIS examine, “a bill’s potential positive or negative effects, if any, on the County’s workforce, taxation policy, property values, incomes, operating costs to business and non-profits operating in the County, capital investment from the private sector, economic development, and the County’s competitiveness.”

Delineating specific factors for each EIS provides clear guidance to the Office of Legislative Oversight to consider the full range of economic impacts of all new legislation. The EIS standards will take effect for all bills introduced on March 1, 2020 or later. The Council will continue to receive economic impact information on pending legislation from the Department of Finance until March.

Watch Councilmember Friedson’s comments before the final vote on Bill 10-19 here.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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