New laws affecting Cecil County businesses

Various laws passed at the state and federal level in the past year are now in effect. That includes an increase in the minimum wage for employees in companies with 15 or more on the payroll.

ELKTON — When the ball dropped and the calendar page flipped to 2022 it also signaled the start of new laws in Maryland affecting businesses and employees in Cecil County.

First of all the minimum wage in Maryland increases to $12.50 for those companies with 15 or more employees. That’s an increase from $11.75. According to Fox Rothschild LLC Executive Order 14026, which covers the wage increase for contractors, is “not as straightforward as it might seem” and urges those dealing with the federal government to become familiar with the so-called ”Final Rule” of the US Department of Labor. Supporting several past actions this order sets in motion a system by which the minimum wage would be reviewed and increased every two years or as needed.

The Internal Revenue Service has raised the amount, which can be deducted as a business expense for vehicle mileage. The 2021 rate of 56 cents per mile is now 58.5 cents for 2022. The mileage rate for charitable driving is unchanged at 14 cents per mile however the IRS has given an increase of 2 cents for mileage for medical or moving purposes sustained by members of the military. Those active duty personnel may now claim 18 cents per mile.

If you offer genetic counseling in Maryland you must now begin the process to become licensed. The State Board of Physicians will oversee the formation of an advisory committee, which will be comprised of licensed members and at least one consumer. Licenses must be in hand by Jan. 1, 2024.

Music therapist must also get licensed. State Board of Examiners for Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, Speech-Language Pathologists will add Music Therapists to its title and will oversee this new law and its implementation. Two music therapists with at least five years experience will be added to its board.

The Flowers Branch Act will affect gas utilities with regulators located inside multi-family residential units. Named for the apartment complex that was the scene of a deadly natural gas explosion in 2016. The act requires that these regulators be moved outside the structure. These utilities had to have their plans to do so on file with the Maryland Public Service Commission at the start of the new year.

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