ANNAPOLIS, Maryland – Many new laws passed during Maryland’s 2021 legislative session that cover multiple topics came into effect on Friday, but here are a few laws that citizens of southern Maryland should watch the most.
SB494- Juveniles sentenced as adults
Several senators have sponsored the law, and it allows courts to sentence a juvenile convicted as an adult to less prison time than a convicted adult would receive. It also prohibited courts from imposing a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or release. Minors are guaranteed the right to apply to court to reduce the sentence.
SB0178 – Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021: Search Warrants and Inspection of Records
While this law was not introduced by a local official, it will affect law enforcement in southern Maryland. This Act allows certain individuals to review the disciplinary files of law enforcement officers in matters of misconduct, internal affairs investigations, hearings and disciplinary decisions for review. under the Maryland Public Information Act. It also requires that “no knock” search warrants be approved in writing by a police supervisor. In addition, they can only perform it between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., except in critical circumstances.
SB600 – Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021: Surplus Military Equipment and Investigation of Police Deaths
A local representative did not introduce this law, but it still strongly affects law enforcement in southern Maryland. The law requires law enforcement to report any “potential civilian death involving police” to a new independent investigative unit in the Maryland attorney general’s office.
HB391 – Solid waste management: ban on releasing a balloon into the atmosphere
As crazy as it sounds, this new law will ban mass balloon releases in Maryland for certain groups. The following groups are prohibited from releasing balloons: a person 13 years of age or older, a corporation, partnership, association, non-profit organization, the state or any unit of a political subdivision. This law requires the local government to work with law enforcement authorities to report the violation.
HB 298 – Consideration of Climate and Work for Power Plant Research
This bill requires the Power Plant Research Program (PPRP) to include an assessment of the impact of power plants on climate change as part of its ongoing research, as specified. Separately, the Civil Service Commission (PSC), when overseeing and regulating public service companies, should consider maintaining fair and stable labor standards for affected workers and climate effects and greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse gases (GHGs) specified.
Likewise, PSC cannot make a final decision on a Public Utility Certificate (CPCN) without considering the effect of climate change on the project and, for a power plant, the impact of the project on GHG emissions and its consistency. with state requirements. GHG emission reduction targets.
HB 540 – Compact interstate authorization to practice in occupational therapy
Presented by State Delegate Matt Morgan[R-St. Mary’s], this bill brings Maryland into the Interstate Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact for occupational therapists. The bill establishes rules enabling occupational therapists to obtain and maintain a compact privilege to practice occupational therapy in a member state; the composition, powers and responsibilities of the Pact Commission for Occupational Therapy; and requirements related to monitoring, dispute resolution and enforcement of the pact. The bill is conditional on the enactment of similar legislation in nine other states.
“When you look at healthcare from a supply and demand perspective, the solutions become much clearer,” Morgan explained in a social media post. “One solution to increasing the number of qualified health professionals is to reach state borders by creating multiple state agreements. This increases the number of healthcare providers and can help meet demand, lower costs, and increase options for consumers. “
These are just a few of the new laws that will come into effect on Friday. Let us know what you think of these new laws in the comments below. For more information on laws and other laws, click here.