New Maryland Laws Take Effect October 1

Hundreds of new Maryland laws will take effect on Tuesday, October 1.

From the Maryland Reporter on local laws:

Route 50 HOV lanes: SB70 — Effective Sept. 29, this law repeals 2016 and 2018 legislation that allowed qualified hybrid vehicles to operate in the high-occupancy vehicle or HOV lane on U.S. Route 50 between Interstate 95/495 and U.S. Route 301 without passengers. Electric cars will still be allowed to travel on this stretch without passengers. —Eric Myers

Disposable bag fee — Howard County: HB1166 — This bill empowers Howard County to impose fees on stores that use disposable bags. The fees cannot exceed 5 cents per bag, and the county can only use the revenue received toward environmental purposes — such as establishing a reusable bag program — and administering the fees. —Elliott Davis

Single cigarette sales: SB310 — Licensed cigarette retailers will be prohibited from selling unpackaged cigarettes, often known as “loosies.” The Baltimore City Health Department will hire an officer to inspect businesses and enforce this law. —Ian Round

Police districts: SB39 — Baltimore’s police districts must be adjusted following each census based on population, housing data, call volume and response times. The city’s nine districts each have roughly the same number of officers, but some have widely varying workloads. —Ian Round

Commission to Restore Trust in Policing: SB847 — The Commission to Restore Trust in Policing will continue to work for another year. Its deadline to submit a final report to the governor and the General Assembly has been extended to Dec. 31, 2020. The commission was created in the wake of revelations of corruption in the Gun Trace Task Force. —Ian Round

Audits: HB516 — The state will conduct an audit of the Baltimore Police Department next year and at least once every six years, “to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the financial management practices of BPD.” The state audit comes in response to an audit by the Baltimore City Department of Finance showing widespread abuse of overtime. —Ian Round

Work for the formerly incarcerated: HB1167 — The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation will initiate a pilot apprenticeship program for the formerly incarcerated. Employers in building or construction may collect $1,000 grants for each formerly convicted employee who is in the first year of their registered apprenticeship program, has worked for them for seven months and lives in Dorchester County or Baltimore City.

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