Friedson Wants All County Legislation To Carry Fiscal Impact Estimate

Friedson Wants All County Legislation To Carry Fiscal Impact Estimate

Requirement would provide indication of costs new laws could place on businesses, residents

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Andrew Friedson

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Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson wants to require a report estimating the fiscal impact of all legislation considered by the council.

Friedson, one of four new members elected last fall, said the goal is to provide legislation “with more teeth” by requiring proposed bills to define and quantify the impact or costs the legislation could impose on businesses and residents.

“I believe that every decision that we make shouldn’t just be about our county budget, but about the budgets of Montgomery County residents and small businesses,” he said.

The fiscal note statement would be similar to those accompanying legislation proposed in the Maryland legislature. For example, a bill proposed this year by two Montgomery County delegates requiring a pilot program to study energy storage systems estimated the program could be handled by existing staff of the Public Service Commission and there would be a “minimal” small business impact.

Friedson, a former analyst in the state comptroller’s office, said having a sense of the fiscal impact will be beneficial to businesses.

He used the example of the first bill he passed, which involved eliminating red tape for businesses that provide downsizing and estate sale services, as one aspect of county government where it would be helpful for businesses to know how much money they would be able to save.

“It shouldn’t require a small business owner to take time out of their schedule to claim that this has an impact on their business,” he said. We shouldn’t be relying on them.”

Friedson said the fiscal note legislation is being drafted and will likely be introduced next month.

This story was updated from a previous version which included only a partial quote from council member Andrew Friedson that did not adequately draw a distinction between the county budget and the budgets of individuals

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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