New Laws Taking Effect July 1

Approximately 300 pieces of legislation will take effect today, the same day the new fiscal year begins. This legislation includes:

  • creation of a prescription drug board tasked with developing ideas to reduce drug prices at the manufacturer, wholesale, pharmacy benefit manager and insurance carrier levels;
  • initial funding to implement recommendations of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (Kirwan Commission) to go to local school systems for pre-kindergarten education, teacher raises and community schools for impoverished areas; and
  • expansion of the eligibility cap for the state child care tax credit from $50,000 of annual income to $92,000 for single parents and $143,000 for married couples filing taxes jointly.

The Baltimore Sun provides an overview of other legislation taking effect.

  • Creating an Opioid Restitution Fund to be spent on programs to treat and prevent addition and overdoses. The money would come from any settlement or judgment the state may reach with opioid manufacturers, such as Purdue Pharma, which it sued in May.

  • Modernizing technology used to operate 911 systems, including improving cybersecurity, setting training standards and establishing records retention rules.

  • Requiring state agencies to consider including public art in new construction projects.

  • Renaming various state institutions — the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation becomes the Department of Labor; University of Maryland University College becomes University of Maryland Global Campus, and the Maryland State Law Library in Annapolis becomes the Thurgood Marshall State Law Library.

  • Permanently protecting oysters within five sanctuaries around the Chesapeake Bay, in Harris Creek and the Little Choptank, Tred Avon, St. Mary’s and Manokin rivers. The legislation was a priority of Democratic House Speaker Michael Busch, who died in April, and becomes law after the General Assembly overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

  • Loosening restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol. Breweries can now to serve up to 5,000 barrels a year in taprooms. Other laws allow some types of liquor license holders in St. Mary’s County to sell drinks Sunday at bars, and let Montgomery County liquor stores to sell beer chilled, so long as it’s in kegs or growlers.

  • Requiring health insurers offering plans to small employers and on the Maryland Health Connection exchange to provide a special enrollment period when policyholders or their spouses become pregnant.

  • Expanding schools across the state designed to set students up for careers in technology and to engage more directly with families and their communities. One law allows for the creation of as many as three schools through the P-TECH program, which focuses on workplace skills and credentials. Another creates a statewide framework for the founding of community schools, which provide a broad set of services to students’ families.

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