10 New MD Laws To Know

Maryland General Assembly approved new laws that went into effect on October 1, 2017. You can access the new laws here. The entire document consists of 119 pages. So I prepared a list of top 10 laws to know:

  1. Car decorative objects: Decorative objects (anything that interferes with the clear view of the driver through the windshield) cannot be hung from rear view mirrors. You can be fined if pulled over under suspicion of another traffic violation on a highway (HB 1335, Chapter 756).
  2. Broader child abuse definition: Child abuse is now defined as intentionally causing physical or mental injury by an individual who has circumstantial authority over a child (HB 1263, Chapter 651).
  3. Proving sexual assault: Victims of sexual assault are not required to provide proof of physical resistance to prove that a sexual assault occurred (SB 217, Chapter 160).
  4. Evidence retention: Police are required to hold evidence collected in sexual assault cases for 20 years (SB 349, Chapter 158).
  5. Human trafficking training: The law requires specific police training about victims of human trafficking, including services, support and appropriate treatment. (HB 1279, Chapter 644).
  6. Anonymous tip program: The law authorizes a county board of education to create an anonymous two-way electronic tip program for a student, parent, guardian, close adult relative of a student, or a school staff member to report acts of bullying, harassment or intimidation (HB 669, Chapter 197).
  7. Definition of animal cruelty: Animal cruelty is defined as failing to provide pets with protection (for example, failure to provide the animal with proper air, space, shelter or protection from the weather) (SB 790, Chapter 187).
  8. Reporting animal cruelty: Veterinarians who have reason to believe that an animal has been subjected to cruelty or violence must report the activity to police. (HB 1463, Chapter 417)
  9. Antibiotics for livestock: The law bans the routine administration of antibiotics to cattle, swine and poultry. (SB 422, Chapter 788).
  10. Drug price-gouging: 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 (HB 523, Chapter 814).
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