New laws went into ef­fect Oct. 1


AN­NAPO­LIS — The fol­low­ing leg­is­la­tion has been ap­proved by the Mary­land Gen­eral Assem­bly and goes into ef­fect on Oct. 1. The Univer­sity of Mary­land’s Cap­i­tal News Ser­vice has grouped these laws gen­er­ally by sub­ject mat­ter, and in­clude bill numbers in paren­the­ses. They in­clude:

Pub­lic health and en­vi­ron­ment

Ban on frack­ing: Af­ter a two-year mora­to­rium, the state will pro­hibit the hy­draulic frac­tur­ing of a well for the pro­duc­tion of oil or nat­u­ral gas. (HB1325)

An­tibi­otics for live­stock: In re­sponse to wor­ries about an­tibi­otic ef­fec­tive­ness, Mary­land has be­come the sec­ond state to ban the rou­tine ad­min­is­tra­tion of an­tibi­otics to cat­tle, swine and poul­try. (SB422/HB602)

Nurs­ing homes: Re­quires the owner of a nurs­ing home to im­me­di­ately, un­der cer­tain cir­cum­stances, ap­point a non-li­censed per­son to serve as the in­terim nurs­ing home ad­min­is­tra­tor. (HB145)

AIDS/HIV: Re­peals an ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram on AIDS for those con­victed of drug or sex-re­lated crimes. (HB445/SB185) Re­quires state health de­part­ment to es­tab­lish re­quire­ments for pre­na­tal HIV test­ing. (HB518)

ADD: The De­part­ment of Health and Men­tal Hy­giene will be re­quired to iden­tify up-to-date, ev­i­dence-based, writ­ten in­for­ma­tion that re­lates to at­ten­tion-deficit/hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der (ADD) and post printable in­for­ma­tion on the de­part­ment’s web­site that may be ac­cessed by health­care prac­ti­tion­ers en­gaged in treat­ing the dis­or­der. (HB184)

Plas­tic la­bel­ing: Pro­hibits the sale of plas­tic prod­ucts la­beled as com­postable, de­com­pos­able or biodegrad­able, un­less the prod­uct meets cer­tain stan­dards. (HB1349)

Mer­cury: Pro­hibits, with penalties to be de­ter­mined by the De­part­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment, a mar­keter from know­ingly sell­ing elec­tric switches, re­lays and gas valve switches that con­tain mer­cury. (SB0713/HB0504)

Drug prices: Man­u­fac­tur­ers and whole­sale dis­trib­u­tors are pro­hib­ited from “price goug­ing” in the sale of an “es­sen­tial generic drug,” and the state at­tor­ney gen­eral may sue com­pa­nies that do not com­ply. Drug com­pa­nies sued the state over the sum­mer and a de­ci­sion is pend­ing. (SB0415/HB0631)

Crab meat: Re­peals out­dated state re­quire­ments to match newer fed­eral guide­lines re­gard­ing the stor­age of crab meat. (SB128/HB524)


Parental con­sent: Au­tho­rizes par­ents or guardians to ap­ply, on be­half of mi­nors, for cer­ti­fied in­pa­tient or in­ten­sive out­pa­tient al­co­hol or drug abuse treat­ment pro­grams. (SB0433/ HB1093)

Sup­port dur­ing re­cov­ery: Re­peals previous law that sub­jected those con­victed of felonies in­volv­ing con­trolled dan­ger­ous sub­stance, who ap­ply for food stamps and tem­po­rary cash as­sis­tance, to test­ing, treat­ment and sanc­tion re­quire­ments. (SB0853/ HB0860)


Pub­lic In­tegrity Act: The state’s first ethics bill passed in over a decade man­dates that law­mak­ers dis­close any con­flicts of in­ter­est and lim­its their ad­vo­cacy for pri­vate busi­nesses. (HB879)


Mar­i­juana ex­punge­ment: A per­son has to file a pe­ti­tion for ex­punge­ment if the per­son was con­victed of mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion. (SB949/HB1362)

Jus­tice Rein­vest­ment Act: Seeks to re­duce Mary­land’s prison pop­u­la­tion by re­quir­ing the Divi­sion of Pa­role and Pro­ba­tion to con­duct risk as­sess­ments on in­mates and aims to re­duce re­cidi­vism with plans for in­mates’ re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. Re­duces in­car­cer­a­tion for cer­tain non­vi­o­lent crimes. In­creases penalties for gang of­fenses. (SB1005/ HB1312)

Homi­cides while im­paired: Im­pris­on­ment in­creases from three to five years for peo­ple who kill oth­ers while op­er­at­ing a car or boat un­der the in­flu­ence of a con­trolled sub­stance. (SB229/HB635)

Po­lice and hu­man traf­fick­ing: Re­quires spe­cific po­lice train­ing about vic­tims of hu­man traf­fick­ing, in­clud­ing ser­vices, sup­port and ap­pro­pri­ate treat­ment. (HB1279/SB220)

Am­ber’s Law: Per­mits vic­tims of do­mes­tic abuse to re­quest that the of­fender use elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing de­vices to track their lo­ca­tion and pro­vide alerts. Al­lows vic­tims to re­quest pro­tec­tions. (HB1163/ SB0976)

Home in­va­sion: Clas­si­fies home in­va­sion as a crime of vi­o­lence. (HB906)

So­lic­i­ta­tion to com­mit mur­der or ar­son: In­creases the statute of lim­i­ta­tions to three years for so­lic­i­ta­tion — urg­ing, ad­vis­ing or in­cit­ing an­other per­son — to com­mit mur­der or ar­son in the first or sec­ond de­gree. (HB653/SB387)

Sex­ual as­sault

Rape kits: Re­quires a hos­pi­tal or child ad­vo­cacy cen­ter to give rape kits to po­lice within 30 days of the vic­tim’s exam. Pro­hibits po­lice from de­stroy­ing or dis­pos­ing of sex­ual as­sault ev­i­dence within 20 years of col­lec­tion. (SB349/ HB255)

Phys­i­cal re­sis­tance: Ev­i­dence of phys­i­cal re­sis­tance by a vic­tim is not re­quired to prove a sex­ual crime hap­pened. (SB217/ HB429)

Sex­ual of­fenses clas­si­fi­ca­tion: Sex­ual of­fenses in the first and sec­ond de­gree are re­clas­si­fied as rape in the first and sec­ond de­gree. (SB944/HB647)

Sex of­fender: A reg­is­tered sex of­fender will have at least 21 days, in­stead of three, to no­tify lo­cal po­lice be­fore leav­ing to work in a for­eign coun­try. (HB521)

Child abuse

Spon­sored by Del. C. T. Wilson (D-Charles), a sur­vivor, ex­tends the dead­line for vic­tims of child sex­ual abuse to file a civil law­suit against al­leged at­tack­ers from age 25 to age 38. (HB642/SB505). Al­ters the def­i­ni­tion of “abuse” as the in­tended phys­i­cal or men­tal in­jury of a child by a per­son who ex­er­cises cir­cum­stan­tial author­ity over the child. (HB1263/ SB996)


Re­port­ing an­i­mal cru­elty: Re­quires vet­eri­nar­i­ans who have rea­son to be­lieve that an an­i­mal has been sub­jected to cru­elty or vi­o­lence re­port the ac­tiv­ity to po­lice. (HB1463)

An­i­mal care: Own­ers of six or more un­spayed fe­male dogs over the age of 6 months or who sell dogs from six or more lit­ters in a year must ob­tain a ken­nel li­cense. (HB334/SB573)


E-cig­a­rette li­cens­ing: Cre­ates a standard for li­cens­ing the man­u­fac­ture, ware­hous­ing and sale of e-cig­a­rettes and their ac­ces­sories. (SB 119/HB 523)

Food desert small loans: Au­tho­rizes the De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment to pro­vide small loans ($50,000 or less) for food desert projects, which aim to in­crease ac­cess to af­ford­able, fresh food in low-in­come neigh­bor­hoods. (HB 1492)

Ac­ci­den­tal per­sonal in­jury com­pen­sa­tion: The max­i­mum fine for an em­ployer who fails to re­port an ac­ci­den­tal per­sonal in­jury within the re­quired time in­creases from $50 to $500; the penalty will only ap­ply in cases when the em­ployer know­ingly fails to re­port an in­jury. (SB 867/HB 1476)

Ve­hi­cle laws

‘Coal rolling’: Pro­hibits diesel-pow­ered ve­hi­cles from re­leas­ing vis­i­ble clouds of smoke, or ex­haust emis­sions, onto an­other per­son or ve­hi­cle with a $500 max­i­mum fine. “Coal rolling” is the prac­tice of re­mov­ing emis­sion-con­trol­ling parts of the en­gine to emit ex­tra smoke, of­ten­times for en­ter­tain­ment or anti-en­vi­ron­men­tal pur­poses. (HB11)

Lane use: New leg­is­la­tion will al­low tow trucks to drive in high oc­cu­pancy ve­hi­cle (HOV) lanes, re­gard­less of the num­ber of pas­sen­gers, to re­spond to a ser­vice call. (HB889)

Driv­ers will be al­lowed to pass on paved shoul­ders if those ahead are mak­ing a left turn. (HB1456) And all-ter­rain ve­hi­cles and snow­mo­biles will be pro­hib­ited from driv­ing on var­i­ous por­tions of the state high­way un­less ex­empted and the driver is older than 16. (SB979)

School cross­ing guards: School cross­ing guards will have new author­ity to di­rect non-school ve­hi­cles around school prop­erty in ad­di­tion to di­rect­ing ve­hi­cles and pedes­tri­ans on a high­way. (HB1301/SB0078)

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