ABORTION: The Abortion Care Access Act establishes the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program in the Maryland Department of Health to ensure that there are a sufficient number of health professionals to provide abortion care. It also:
Establishes the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program Fund
Establishes certain requirements regarding abortion services, including provision and coverage requirements for the Maryland Medical Assistance Program and certain insurers
Requires the governor to include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $3,500,000 to the program.
Funding starts in 2023.
Repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBR), along with new rules for when police may use force and how they are investigated and disciplined. The new law requires counties to assemble Police Accountability Boards (PAB) and Administrative Charging Committees (ACC), where civilians will have a role in reviewing and investigating allegations of misconduct, and in certain cases, in meting out administrative repercussions. Officers who get into trouble starting Friday will be subject to the new procedures.
A new use-of-force standard, one of the strictest in the nation, requires officers to prioritize de-escalation tactics and says they may not use force against a person unless “under the totality of the circumstances, the force is necessary and proportional.” Under the statute, an officer who uses excessive force faces criminal penalties, up to 10 years in prison.
Prohibition on public schools from using seclusion as a behavioral intervention. It allows seclusion in nonpublic schools, but with restrictions such as requiring a qualified health-care practitioner to observe the student during seclusion. The law comes after a 2020 federal investigation that found that the Frederick County Public School District improperly secluded and restrained students with disabilities.
New Law Allows Students To Modify their uniforms to make them more modest to conform to their religion, culture or personal preference. Among those who advocated for the law was Je’Nan Hayes, who was benched during a 2017 high school basketball game because she was wearing a hijab.
ATHLETE SAFETY: The Elijah Gorham Act requires an automated external defibrillator program in public middle and high schools, requires actions be taken by county boards of education regarding heat acclimatization for student athletes; requires middle and high schools to develop venue-specific emergency action plans for the operation and use of automatic external defibrillators, heat acclimatization and coordination of care for other emergent injuries and severe weather for outdoor facilities.
CLEAN CARS: The Clean Cars Act of 2022 establishes the Medium-Duty and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Grant Program for certain vehicles and equipment to be administered by the Maryland Energy Administration. The act also:
Alters the vehicle excise tax credit for the purchase of certain electric vehicles for certain fiscal years
Decreases from $63,000 to $50,000 for purposes of the electric vehicle excise tax credit, the limitation on the maximum base purchase price of certain electric vehicles
Reduces the vehicle excise tax credit for certain electric drive vehicles
EXPANSION OF ITEMS EXEMPT FROM THE STATE SALES TAX
Baby products: Exempting the sale of diapers, diaper rash cream and baby wipes from the sales and use tax.
Oral hygiene products: Exempting the sale of oral hygiene products from the sales and use tax, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, tooth powders, mouthwash, dental floss or similar oral hygiene products.
Medical devices: Exempting the sale of certain thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors and respirators from the sales and use tax.
Diabetic care products: Exempting certain diabetic care products from the sales and use tax, including insulin, glucose tablets, glucose drinks, glucose gels, blood and urine ketone meters and supplies, insulin pumps, insulin pump infusion sets, insulin pump reservoirs or cartridges, continuous glucose monitors and related supplies, syringes, insulin injection devices, insulin pens, insulin pen needles, lancets and lancet devices, and testing strips for measuring blood sugar.
INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR SENIORS: The law creates a nonrefundable credit against the state income tax for a resident who is at least age 65 and whose federal adjusted gross income does not exceed $100,000 ($150,000 if married filing jointly).
The amount of the tax credit is equal to $1,000 for an individual or if only one of the individuals filing a joint return is an eligible individual; and $1,750 if married filing jointly and both individuals are at least age 65.
The bill also expands the state subtraction modification for retired law enforcement; correctional officer; and fire, rescue, and emergency services personnel.
988 TRUST FUND: Behavioral Health Crisis Response Services — Establishes the 988 Trust Fund to provide reimbursement for costs associated with designating and maintaining 988 as the universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. This law requires the Maryland Department of Health to designate 988 as the primary phone number for the state’s behavioral health crisis hotline.
This material was compiled from various news sources in our area.
REMEMBER TO VOTE
Early Voting: July 7th through July 14th
Primary Day: July 19th
I hope everybody has a great July 4th Weekend