Hogan signs Noah's Law

Posted at 8:15 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 20:15:21-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Gov. Larry Hogan has signed 144 bills into law, including an expansion of mandatory use of breath-testing ignition devices for drunken driving convicts and criminal justice reform.

Hogan signed the bills into law Thursday at a ceremony at the State House.

The bills include Noah's Law, which honors Montgomery County police Officer Noah Leotta, who was struck and killed by a drunken driver who pleaded guilty this week to vehicular manslaughter.

The Justice Reinvestment Act includes policy changes for parole, victim restitution, record expungement and focuses on treatment for nonviolent drug offenders over prison.

There are about 100 bills awaiting the governor's action. Hogan must decide this month whether to veto those bills or let them take effect without his signature. 

The bills include:


Maryland expands its ignition interlock laws for drunken drivers. It will require the devices to be installed for six months in the vehicle of anyone who blows a .08 in a breath test or else the person's license would be suspended for that time period. If someone refuses a breath test, he would either have to install the devices for nine months or have his license suspended for that time.


Maryland will bar employers from providing lower wages or less-favorable job opportunities based on sex or gender identity. It will also prohibit workplace rules against discussing pay with colleagues.


The measure creates protections for property owners by raising the standard of proof to forfeit property to "clear and convincing evidence" and new reporting requirements.


The measure clarifies policies to encourage public-private partnerships and wetlands protection projects.


A measure to bring comprehensive reforms to the state's criminal justice system makes changes in policy for parole, treatment options, victim restitution and criminal record expungement.


The measure aims to increase trust between police and communities in the aftermath of unrest in Baltimore last year. It makes a variety of changes to the police disciplinary process, hiring and training. People will be able to file complaints against police anonymously, and changes have been made to the Law Enforcement Officer's Bill of Rights, extending the time residents can file complaints from 90 days to a year and a day.


Maryland's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services will be required to report the number of inmates who are placed in solitary confinement annually.