State Roundup, September 27, 2017

HOWARD TO PITCH FOR AMAZON HQ2: Howard County is joining the growing list of Maryland jurisdictions that plan to make a play for Inc.’s second headquarters, writes Amanda Yeager for the Baltimore Business Journal. Economic development officials in the affluent suburb southwest of Baltimore are working onassembling a pitch to lure the internet retailer to Columbia Gateway business park, County Executive Allan Kittleman said Tuesday. “We think we are well positioned,” Kittleman said. “We can see this as a win for Maryland and the region.”

PAID SICK LEAVE: Maryland legislators passed a bill in April requiring that workers get at least five paid sick days a year — which, along with vacation time, is what employees often use when they don’t have family leave — but it was vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan, who proposed legislation that would have set a higher threshold of 50-plus workers, with tax credits to entice smaller businesses to offer the leave. Advocates vow to seek an override of Hogan’s veto when the legislature convenes for its annual 90-day session in January, Jean Marbella reports in the Sun.

VIEWS ON HOGAN TRANSIT PLAN: The Washington region — current population roughly 5.4 million – is projected to grow by 1.5 million people over the coming quarter- century. Faced with that influx, public officials don’t have the luxury to engage in theological debate about the comparative benefits of transit vs. roads vs. new technology. If the region is to remain livable, prosperous and mobile, it will need more of all of the above. That’s why Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent big-ticket suburban transportation proposals — hundreds of millions of dollars to rescue Metro, and $9 billion to add dozens of miles of toll lanes to the Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore- Washington