In a Tuesday afternoon hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Majority Leader Guy Guzzone (D- District 13) presented his legislation that enables counties and municipalities to provide tax credits to organizations that lease property to public school or non-profit robotics programs. Guzzone saw the bill (Senate Bill 122) pass the Senate without opposition (44-0) on February 12th.
Robotics programs are a growing and thriving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education tool throughout schools both locally and nationwide. Like their name suggests, robotics clubs are clubs that are interested in the workings of robots and the corresponding science behind them. According to independent analysis from the Maryland Department of Legislative Services: “There are numerous robotics programs throughout the State. Many public schools offer robotics programs as well as the Rockville Science Center, Maryland Out of School Time, the Baltimore Robotics Club, and the Baltimore Robotics Center. The University of Maryland College Park, through its College Park Scholars Science Technology and Science Program, works with the Prince George’s County Public School System to design and deliver robotics-based STEM education programs.”
Guzzone is the sole sponsor of the Senate legislation. The bill is cross-filed in the House of Delegates as House Bill 160. House Bill 160 is sponsored by Delegate Eric Ebersole (D- District 12). Joining Ebersole in sponsorship of his legislation are a bipartisan group of his colleagues including Delegates Boteler (R- District 8), Buckel (R- District 1B), Feldmark (D-District 12), Palakovich-Carr (D- District 17), Patterson (D- District 28), Watson (D- District 9B), Wilkins (D- District 20) and Young (D- District 44B).
Having been heard in the House, Senate Bill 122 awaits the action of the Ways and Means Committee. House Bill 160 was heard before the Ways and Means Committee on February 5th. Similarly, both Senate Bill 122 and House Bill 160 now await a vote in the House Ways and Means Committee. All legislation must successfully pass both the Maryland Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates by Sine Die on Monday, April 8th to be sent to Governor Hogan to be approved or vetoed.