An April 10 Capital article lists some of the major non-budget issues that were passed by the General Assembly. Many of the measures, such as septic system restrictions and maintenance of effort requirements, will have a significant impact on county governments. Others, such as the same-sex marriage and health exchange legislation touch on broad social issues. Still other legislation addressed narrower concerns, such as the use of sperm and eggs for assisted reproduction after the donor dies or allowing betting in fantasy sports games.
A glance at some measures approved by the Maryland General Assembly:
Septic system limitations
The legislature passed a watered-down version of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to limit where new residential septic systems can be located, especially in the most rural part of the states. Under the legislation, counties would be directed to develop a four-tiered system that dictates where septics can be placed. The state would not be allowed to overrule county plans.
Maryland residents can expect their $30 annual fee for the Bay Restoration Fund to double under another O’Malley priority passed by the General Assembly. The money is used to fight Chesapeake Bay pollution.
Maintenance of effort
A measure intended to force all counties to meet school funding requirements would enable the state to take back money that counties collect on a piggyback tax on state income taxes and send it directly to school boards. It also would enable a county where voters have imposed a cap on property tax rates to raise those taxes anyway, if the money goes to education.