On October 1, Maryland enacted hundreds of new laws surrounding transportation and pedestrian safety, employment, criminal justice, business, education, elections, health, environment, and immigration. Below are summaries of some of those laws:
Criminal Law: HB 5 — Prohibits a person from placing an item or inscribing an item or a symbol, including an actual or depicted noose or swastika, whether temporary or permanent, on any real personal property, public, private, without the express permission of the owner, with the intent to threaten or intimidate any person or group of persons.
Equal Pay for Equal Work: HB 14 — Prohibits an employer from taking any adverse employment action against an employee for inquiring about the employee’s wages.
Motor Vehicle Administration: HB 46 — Repealed the MVA authority to suspend the registration of a motor vehicle if the owner or driver of the vehicle fails to pay the penalty assessed for certain violations recorded by a traffic control signal monitoring system or a speed monitoring system.
Labor and Employment, Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund: SB 616 — Requires, rather than authorizes, the Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund to be the third–party administrator for the State’s Self–Insured Workers’ Compensation Program for State Employees under a contract with the State; authorizes the Fund to use nonsupervisory employees of the Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company; authorizes nonsupervisory employees of the Company to be assigned to perform certain functions under a certain contract; alters the membership of the Board for the Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund.
Private Passenger Motor Vehicle Insurance: HB 118 — Prohibits an insurer from canceling, refusing to renew, or otherwise terminating coverage for a private passenger motor vehicle insurance policy based on claims made under the policy’s towing or emergency roadside coverage; authorizes an insurer to remove towing or emergency roadside service coverage from a certain policy at renewal based on the number of claims pursuant to the towing coverage; and authorizes an insurer to increase a premium of a private passenger motor vehicle insurance policy as a result of certain claims.
Labor and Employment: HB 123 — Requires an employer, on request, to provide to an applicant for employment the wage range for the position for which the applicant applied; prohibits an employer from taking negative actions against an applicant for employment because the applicant did not provide wage history or a wage range; prohibits an employer from relying on wage history, except when voluntarily provided, for the purpose of determining fair wage, and from seeking an applicant’s wage history from former employers or their agents; etc.
Insurance – Uninsured or Enhanced Underinsured Motorist Coverage: HB 144 — Clarifies that certain motor vehicle liability insurance policies must contain coverage for damages, subject to the policy limits, that the insured is entitled to recover from the owner or operator of certain motor vehicles because of property damage, including the loss of the insured vehicle; and alters the amounts to which certain motorist coverage in certain policies must be equal.
Vehicle Laws – Registration Plate Frames and Border Enforcement: HB 200 — Provides for enforcement only as a secondary offense for a violation of the requirement to maintain vehicle registration plates to be free from foreign material and to be clearly legible.
Vehicle Laws – Overtaking and Passing Bicycles: HB 230 — Authorizes the driver of a vehicle to drive on the left side of the roadway in a no-passing zone to overtake and pass at a safe distance a bicycle traveling in the same direction in accordance with a certain provision of law and in a certain manner.
-Kelsey Lear, Law Clerk