BALTIMORE — Another round of new laws goes into effect on Friday. You can find the link to the full list here, but we've also put several of them in focus for you.
POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2021
- Anton's Law - puts new restrictions on no-knock warrants as well as additional requirements to obtain them. Also allows for inspection of records relating to misconduct by officers through the Maryland Public Information Act.
- SB 600 - prohibits law enforcement agencies from getting surplus military equipment from the federal government and requires those agencies to notify a unit in the Attorney General's office during a case of an officer-involved civilian death to investigate.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE & CRIME LAW
- Juvenile Restoration Act - allows judges to give a sentence under the minimum requirements for kids charged as adults and prohibits giving a minor a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
- HB 193 - requires the State Board of Victim Services to create a poster that will let victims know that they have the right to request a private room in a law enforcement agency when they are reporting a crime.
- Wade's Law - makes it illegal to cause a life-threatening injury to another person by driving in a 'criminally negligent' way.
- HB 425 - creates a law against committing ransomware attacks against a healthcare facility or a public school 'with the intent to interrupt or impair the functioning' of the facility.
- SB 607 - makes it illegal to willfully and maliciously kill, injure or interfere with a certain service animal.
- HB 128 - expands the definition of "sexual orientation" in the context of protected groups and hate crimes. Maryland law will now include gender identity as a protected characteristic.
- Forensic Genetic Genealogical DNA Analysis, Searching Regulation and Oversight - creates regulations for agencies to initiate a forensic genetic genealogical DNA analysis and search, including getting authorization from a court.
- Early Voting Centers - changes the number of early voting centers that are required in a county by population. Also requires local boards of elections to take into account communities that have been historically disenfranchised when looking at locations and accessibility for early voting centers.
- Centralized Booking Facility Ballot Drop Box - requires Baltimore City to provide a secure ballot drop box for eligible voters in the centralized booking facility.
- Behavioral Health Services - Mental Health First Aid - Requires that the Maryland Department of Health provides mental health first aid where it provides behavioral health services.
PUBLIC HEALTH LAW
- Interstate Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact - enters into a compact with other states granting certain privileges to occupational therapists and assistants that meet specific requirements - contingent on at least 9 other states enacting similar bills.
- HB 849 - Prohibits health care providers from charging money for providing copies of medical records in certain situations.
- Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Interstate Compact - enters into a compact with other states that would require member states to allow an audiologist or speech language pathologist to see patients through telehealth under certain circumstances - also contingent on at least 9 other states enacting similar bills.
- HB 429 - Requires that pharmacists let consumers know about non-name brand medications that are equivalent in use and lower in cost.
- The Shirley Nathan-Pulliam Health Equity Act of 2021 - establishes the Maryland Commission on Health Equity and requires the state to maintain and provide certain data and use it to improve health outcomes.
- HB 1317 - Learn more about the changes to the apprentice barbers law here.
- HB 290 - Extends the time for filing employment discrimination complaint from 6 months to 300 days.
- Bereavement Leave - expands the legal definition of 'child' to include adopted, biological and foster children as well as stepchildren and legal wards.