Governor Larry Hogan, along with Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and Speaker of the House Mike Busch, today signed 207 bills into law, including the Clean Cars Act of 2017 (SB 393/HB 406), the Clean Water Commerce Act of 2017 (SB 314/HB 417), and Economic Development – Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (SB 313/HB 410). These bills comprised the governor’s 2017 environmental agenda, designed to improve water and air quality, promote the use of electric vehicles, and attract and develop private clean energy innovations in Maryland. These legislative initiatives build on the Hogan administration’s strong commitment to protecting and improving Maryland’s environment, which has included over $3 billion for in funding for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts since taking office.
“I want to thank President Miller, Speaker Busch, and legislators from both parties for passing our environmental package, which I am proud to sign today, along with along with several other bills to protect our soil, our air, and our water,” said Governor Hogan. “All of these initiatives represent bipartisan efforts to protect our environment and grow clean energy investment and jobs, and will help Maryland continue to lead the charge when it comes to protecting our environment.”
The governor and presiding officers arrived at the signing, which took place at Susan Campbell Park in Annapolis, in an electric vehicle. The Pride of Baltimore II, a replica 1812-era schooner that promotes Maryland’s maritime history in ports throughout the world, served as the backdrop for the ceremony.
The Clean Cars Act of 2017 will increase investment in the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit program by over 30 percent, and will double the Charging Station Tax Rebate. The legislation modifies the EV Tax Credit program by allowing $100 per kWH of battery life per vehicle, while retaining the $3,000 maximum tax credit. The legislation also stipulates that vehicles with a sales price over $60,000 do not qualify for the tax credit. Finally, the legislation also modifies the EV Charging Station rebate, altering the residential rebate to 40 percent of the cost, with a $700 maximum rebate, and the commercial rebate to 40 percent of the cost with a $4,000 maximum rebate.
“Maryland is establishing the blueprint as states work to change how they move their residents, making smarter, cleaner electric transportation a reality across the country,” said Genevieve Cullen, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association.
“Governor Hogan demonstrated his environmental leadership today by extending and increasing Maryland’s EV excise tax credit program and increasing charging station rebates,” said John Bozzella, President and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers.
The Clean Water Commerce Act of 2017 will eventually allow up to $10 million per year of the Bay Restoration Funds to be used to purchase pollution reductions which Maryland will utilize to meet the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) by 2025. This Clean Water Commerce is a cost-effective and market-based solution to meeting the reductions needed in the WIP.
“The Clean Water Commerce Act is a great example of bipartisan collaboration that accelerates environmental progress,” said Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “Forming broader partnerships for cleaner water and a healthier Chesapeake Bay will help us get the biggest cleanup bang for the buck.”
Economic Development – Maryland Energy Innovation Institute creates the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEII) through a collaboration between the University of Maryland Energy Research Center (UMERC) and the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC). MEII will develop, attract private investment, and commercialize clean energy innovations, and will be funded through an investment of $7.5 million, or $1.5 million per year for five years.
“This is the perfect means to bring together expertise in science, government and industry to bring value to the State of Maryland,” said University of Maryland Provost Mary Ann Rankin.
“The Maryland Energy Innovation Institute will provide the critical infrastructure to enable these breakthroughs to become commercially viable companies benefiting both the economy and the environment of the State of Maryland,” added Dr. Eric Wachsman, University of Maryland professor and director of the Institute.
After signing the administration’s environmental package, the governor and presiding officers signed an additional nine bills that will protect Maryland’s natural resources and incentivize the use of renewable energy sources at City Dock, before returning to the Maryland State House to sign an additional 195 pieces of legislation. Bills signed at the second ceremony included the Taxpayer Protection Act, measures to prevent animal cruelty and provide service animals to veterans struggling with mental health issues, as well as legislation to recognize important contributions of women in Maryland’s history, including Henrietta Lacks. Click here to view a full list of bills signed into today’s ceremonies.