$638 Million State Structural Deficit Projected For 2014 Budget analysts from the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) are forecasting a structural deficit of more than $630 million in fiscal 2014 and a projected budget shortfall of $247 million. Overall, the state budget is expected to grow about 4% over fiscal 2013, with total expenditures of $37.1 billion. Key Legislator Anticipates No State Tax Increases Following the DLS briefing on the projected structural deficit, Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer, Chair of the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee, said he did not anticipate General Assembly approval of tax increases in 2013. State Unemployment Tax Set To Drop The state unemployment tax rate for minimum rate employers (those with no layoffs in recent years) will drop by 55 percent next year and the rate for maximum rated employers (those with sizable layoffs), will drop 22 percent next year. Maryland employers will receive official unemployment tax rate notices in December. Member Updates Gary LeGrande is now the General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express Baltimore Stadiums. The Tremont Plaza Hotel & Grand Historic Venue in Baltimore will become the Embassy Suites Baltimore next year. Prior to the rebranding, the property will also be refurbishing the suites' bathrooms, renovating the entrance and lobby and preparing the hotel's restaurant to convert to a new concept. Sailabration Sets Attendance Records Sailabration, the 10-day maritime and air festival in Baltimore last summer was the largest event ever in Baltimore and in Maryland. 1.54 million people attended Sailabration, slightly more than the 1.5 million who attended the OpSail event in 2000. Sailabration Was Also A Great Fiscal Success The total economic impact of Sailabration was more than $166 million – including $7.2 million in combined tax revenue for Baltimore City and the State. Sailabration also created the equivalent of 4,047 jobs. Allied Organization Update Mathew Palmer has been named Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, Palmer served as Associate Director of State Affairs for Johns Hopkins University. He has also served as chief of staff for State Senator E.J. Pipkin. Maryland Password Protection Law In Effect Maryland's first-in-the-nation law prohibiting employers from requiring, or even requesting, employees provide pass codes to personal websites and devices is now in effect Employers cannot refuse to hire job applicants no can they discipline or fire employees who refuse to disclose a personal pass code. Register Today For The Maryland Toursm And Travel Summit (MTTS) The Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit is a once a year opportunity for tourism professionals from across Maryland to gather in one place at one time to learn, to be inspired and to be empowered. Details on this year's outstanding program and online registration is available at www.mdtourism.org.