MMHA Advocate Magazine, Spring 2019 The Advocate 26 Maryland General Assembly The 439 th session of the Maryland General Assembly began on Wednesday, January 9 th . As always, MMHA remains committed to advocating on behalf of our members and working to protect the industry. With the 2018 elections, there are a new crop of freshman lawmakers that we are working to introduce to the needs and complexities of the rental housing industry. At the time of this writing, there are several bills we are monitoring and discussing with legislators.The deadline to request bills guaranteed for introduction and hearing was January 22, so we expect a large crop of bills to be introduced in early February.We expect to see bills on the definition of rent, source of income, lead paint, and utilities. Local Legislation In November, Jessie Keller was hired to manage community outreach efforts and to work with Aaron and the Legislative Committee on local bills. Since then, the legislative team has been working to defend the industry on a few pieces of legislation. Annapolis City Council Fair Housing- Unlawful Housing Practices: In December, Alderwoman Shaneka Henson introduced Ordinance 45-2018, codifying Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher holders as one of the protective classes under the City of Annapolis Fair Housing Laws. Source of income protection already exists in Annapolis, so this legislation has minimal additional impact on our members. MMHA offered testimony in favor of the overall bill with several clarifying amendments. The bill passed on January 28 th with most of MMHA’s amendments and immediately took effect. Baltimore City Community Relations - Housing Discrimination - Source of Income: On December 3 rd , Council Members introduced Council Bill 18-0308 Ordinance to ban source of income discrimination and Council Bill 18- 0117R, a resolution to request that the Maryland General Assembly prohibit source of income discrimination.The Resolution passed unanimously during that same Council meeting. MMHA has been successful in delaying the vote on CB 18-0308, the Baltimore City Ordinance. We have met with almost all the Council members to voice our concerns with this bill and share our suggested amendments, including a 5% voluntary threshold on multifamily L E G I S L AT I V E U P D AT E