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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gov. Larry Hogan signed 350 bills on Tuesday. Here are some of the highlights:
State-mandated stormwater management fees will end, but nine counties and the city of Baltimore will need to show they are paying to meet federal mandates to clean polluted stormwater.
CHARTER SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
Well-performing and financially sound charter schools will get more flexibility for operations. Calls for a school funding study and directs most chartering authority to local school board level.
Law enforcement officers can intercept an oral communication with a body-worn electronic recording device. A commission will make recommendations on how to implement body cameras in the state by Jan. 1.
DEATHS INVOLVING LAW ENFORCEMENT
Law enforcement agencies will be required to provide the governor's office with information about deaths of individuals in police custody.
A requirement for handgun manufacturers to provide gun dealers shell casings of projectiles fired from handguns will be repealed.
A commission will review Maryland's use of assessments and testing in public schools.
A three-year pilot program will allow construction of community solar projects, which allow multiple people to invest in a solar project.
Whistleblowers with knowledge of fraud against state and local governments could receive an award if they come forward with information and the government recoups money as a result.
The Maryland Public Information Act will be updated. A five-member compliance board will be created to address fee disputes and establish an ombudsman position to handle disagreements between government agencies and members of the public attempting to access records.
Certified professional midwives can be licensed specialists for out-of-hospital births.
PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCE
A voluntary checkoff on individual income tax returns will be restored for public campaign financing for governor.
MARYLAND SECOND CHANCE ACT
People with certain non-violent offenses can request that their criminal records be shielded from the public eye. The person will have to have completed their entire sentence, including probation and parole, and maintained a clean record for three years.
MILITARY RETIREMENT PENSION
The state's $5,000 tax exemption on military retirement pensions for people over 65 will increase to $10,000.
Added protections will be in place to prevent foster care children from being returned to abusive biological parents. It would give social service agencies the ability to keep children in foster care, if there is severe abuse by biological parents, or parents do not protect their children from serious mistreatment.
An advisory council will be formed to review proposed government regulations and determine whether they have a significant impact on small business.
A task force will be created to help transfer technology developed in higher education to the marketplace.
IMPROVING GOVERNMENT SERVICE
A training program will be formed to improve service provided by state agencies to businesses and the public.
An Office of the Secretary of Commerce will be established in the governor's office, as part of a restructuring of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
APPRENTICESHIP PILOT PROGRAM
A two-year pilot program will be created to help prepare students to enter the workforce.
Maryland's speed limit could be raised from 65 to 70 miles per hour on specified state highways.
MARYLAND PRIMARY DATE
Maryland's primary in presidential election years will be moved to the last Tuesday in April, making it April 26 next year.
The state will create an alert program to find missing drivers in hit-and-run accidents that result in serious injury.
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