Maryland Lawmakers Race to Pass Port Worker Relief Before Session Ends

As the 2024 legislative session draws to a close in Annapolis, the Maryland General Assembly is working urgently to finalize a relief package for port workers and businesses impacted by the Key Bridge collapse.

Both chambers will reconvene this morning to tackle the remaining legislative agenda before the mandatory adjournment tonight at midnight.

A focal point is the Port Act, which aims to deploy emergency funds to provide financial assistance to those in the maritime industry affected by the bridge incident and resulting shipping disruptions.

The House has advanced its version of the proposal to aid port workers, with a committee having heard testimony on the bill just this past Thursday. The legislation would authorize the governor to tap into the state’s Rainy Day fund to finance programs through the Departments of Labor and Commerce.

In addition to temporarily covering the wages of idled port employees, the bill outlines subsidies for small businesses to retain their workforce during this economic crunch.

As the clock ticks down on the 90-day legislative session, lawmakers are in a race against time to get the Port Act and other priority bills across the finish line before the legal deadline.

The bridge collapse has had severe ramifications for Maryland’s vital shipping operations. Quick legislative action on relief measures could provide a much-needed lifeline to impacted workers and companies as long-term bridge repairs get underway.