Highlights From Annapolis – June Recap

New Laws Take Effect July 1
Several new laws will take effect July 1, including legislation to expand opioid education in schools, provide funding for Planned Parenthood if federal funding is cut, increase barrel limits for craft breweries, and provide a tax break on retirement income of law enforcement, fire, rescue or emergency services personnel who are 55 or older. Articles in The Frederick News Post and The Annapolis Capital summarize some of the legislation taking effect.

Governor Hogan Rescinds Zero-Waste Landfill Policy, Creates Office of Rural Broadband
Speaking to municipal officials at the annual Maryland Municipal League conference in Ocean City, Governor Hogan announced he was rescinding, through an executive order, the zero-waste landfill policy issued by Governor O’Malley. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the Governor stated that the zero-waste policy “usurped local authority and created overflowing landfills and unnecessary hardships for local governments.”

In addition, the Governor announced the issuance of an executive order to create the Office of Rural Broadband. The Office will have an Executive Director who will work with local governments, tri-county councils, and key agencies and stakeholders, including the Maryland Broadband Cooperative, to provide statewide access to high-speed Internet. Additional details can be found in the Governor’s press release.

Judge Rules Medical Cannabis Program Can Proceed
The Court of Appeals ruled recently that the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission can issue final licenses to companies as legal challenges continue. As previously reported, the Court of Appeals intervened and stopped a hearing in early June from occurring in the Circuit Court to determine whether the medical cannabis program can move forward in Maryland or be put on hold.

2018 Election Fodder
With the 2018 gubernatorial election a year away, many individuals have announced their intention to run for Governor and sitting legislators have announced their intentions to seek different office or not run for re-election. Some of these announcements are summarized below.

Other Important Information and Websites
Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education – Meeting dates, meeting minutes, and other details can be found on the Commission website. The Commissions final report is due December 31, 2017.

21st Century School Facilities Commission – Meeting dates and agenda topics can be found on the Commission page of the General Assembly’s website.

To access press releases, executive orders, and other information from the Office of Governor Larry Hogan, visit the Governor’s website.

To access information on members of the General Assembly, committees, committee meetings, legislation, and other publications, visit the General Assembly’s Website.


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