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Press Releases - County Council

Economic Impact Bill Goes into Effect

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 2, 2020

Bill sponsored by Councilmember Andrew Friedson requires Council to weigh independent economic analysis of all proposed legislation

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 2, 2020 — Legislation before the Council will now undergo an independent evaluation of potential economic impacts on County businesses and taxpayers under Bill 10-19, Legislative Branch – Economic Impact Statements – Amendments, which went into effect yesterday, March 1, 2020.

Councilmember Andrew Friedson introduced Bill 10-19, and the Council unanimously approved the measure, in July 2019. The bill requires an expanded economic impact statement for each piece of legislation before the Council to be managed by a fiscal analyst in the Council’s Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO).

“It’s essential that the Council and the public have a complete picture of the impact that enacting any new law may have on our economy and our competitiveness in the Washington metropolitan region,” said Councilmember Friedson, who serves on the Government and Fiscal Policy Committee and on the Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee. “This measure is an example of Montgomery County recognizing that economic development can’t just be part of what we do but must be part of everything that we do.”

All economic impact statements will identify a bill’s positive or negative effects, if any, on the County’s workforce, taxation policy, property values, incomes, operating costs to businesses and nonprofits, capital investment from the private sector, economic development, and the County’s competitiveness.

“It is important that every piece of legislation that is being discussed have an independent economic impact statement associated with it. Economic development is not something that we should just consider at the end of the process. We need to make certain that we are completely aware throughout the process,” Council President Sidney Katz said.

To manage the implementation of the economic impact statement process, OLO hired Stephen Roblin, an experienced fiscal analyst who is completing his dissertation at Cornell University.

As required by Bill 10-19, OLO will have three weeks from when a bill is introduced to complete the economic impact statement. OLO will also provide consultations to councilmembers considering legislation before introduction and throughout the Council’s legislative process.

“It’s critical to understand the full impact of legislation – not just on the County budget, but on the budgets of residents and businesses,” Councilmember Friedson said. “This effort is not just about economic competitiveness, it’s about an improved legislative process with better-informed policies.”

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Release ID: 20-073
Media Contact: Cindy Gibson 240-777-7828