A. There is a Maryland Opportunity Zone Leadership Task Force (the “Task Force”).
1) The Task Force shall consist of the following voting members:
a) The Lieutenant Governor;
b) The Secretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development, or the Secretary’s designee;
c) The Secretary of the Department of Commerce, or the Secretary’s designee;
d) The Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, or the Secretary’s designee;
e) The Secretary of the Department of Planning, or the Secretary’s designee;
f) The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, or the Secretary’s designee; and
g) The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources, or the Secretary’s designee.
2) The following shall be invited to be, and shall be upon acceptance, voting members of the Task Force:
a) The Superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education, or the Superintendent’s designee;
b) The Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, or the Secretary’s designee;
c) The Executive Director of the Maryland Stadium Authority, or the Executive Director’s designee;
d) The Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, or the Chancellor’s designee;
e) An appointee of the Maryland Association of Counties;
f) An appointee of the Maryland Municipal League;
g) An appointee of the Maryland Economic Development Corporation;
h) An appointee of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation; and
i) An appointee of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges.
3) The Governor shall designate the Chair from among the members.
4) Members of the Task Force serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
5) A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner that the initial appointments are made.
1) The majority of voting members of the Task Force shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business.
2) The Task Force shall hold publicly announced meetings at such times and such places as it deems necessary. The meetings shall be accessible to the general public in accordance with the Maryland Open Meetings Act or other applicable law.
3) The Task Force may adopt such other procedures as may be necessary to ensure the orderly transaction of business, including the creation of committees.
4) The Chair may, with the consent of the Task Force, designate additional individuals, including interested citizens, elected officials, educators, or specialists with relevant expertise, to serve on any committee.
5) The Task Force may consult with the principal departments of the Executive Branch of the State government to obtain such technical assistance and advice as it deems necessary to complete its duties.
D. Duties. The Task Force shall:
1) Advise the Governor on all matters assigned to the Task Force and be responsible for carrying out the Governor’s policies on those matters;
2) Conduct regional summits in various parts of the State, including the Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland, Western Maryland, and Central Maryland, to enable citizens to share information, market prospectuses, and solicit and offer opportunities and possibilities for Opportunity Zone investment;
3) Provide an electronic portal for citizens to submit their comments to the Task Force;
4) Develop a clearinghouse for local government, developers, and other interested parties to learn of and access Opportunity Zone resources;
5) Develop a community marketing strategy and an economic-development policy brief for Opportunity Zones;
6) Develop an “Opportunity Plan” that sets broad goals for Opportunity Zones aligned with State economies, priorities, and culture;
7) Outline development of Opportunity Zones with a multi-year timeline that is subject to measurement and assessment on an annual basis;
8) Provide recommendations for legislation to enhance Opportunity Zone incentives;
9) Devise innovative methods for incorporating Opportunity Zones into existing State programs, including, but not limited to, More Jobs for Marylanders and EARN Maryland; and
10) Coordinate participation with local governments to best align local resources with Opportunity Zone investment.
E. Units of State and local government shall retain all budgeting and funding authority to undertake initiatives in Opportunity Zones.
F. Reports and Recommendations.
1) The Task Force shall summarize its progress in fulfilling its duties in a report submitted to the Governor, the President of the Maryland Senate, and the Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, no later than October 1, 2019.
2) The Task Force may issue additional reports as directed by the Governor.