A look at bills clearing the Maryland General Assembly
By BRIAN WITTE
Maryland’s 90-day legislative session is coming to an end. Lawmakers will be working on legislation to battle opioid addiction and to make changes to the state’s medical marijuana law. A measure to protect internet privacy also remains before lawmakers, who are scheduled to adjourn Monday at midnight. Here is a look at some of the legislation that already has passed:
Businesses with 15 or more employees would be required to provide five paid sick days.
Maryland has banned the hydraulic fracturing drilling process known as fracking.
A blueprint for identifying and assisting struggling schools in Maryland has been approved in response to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. It makes academic performance 65 percent of the formula to identify struggling schools, along with a variety of other indicators also playing a role in evaluating performance.
The General Assembly approved a resolution enabling the attorney general to sue the federal government without the governor’s permission. Separately, the attorney general’s office will receive $1 million in future budgets to pay for added expenses for bringing lawsuits against federal government actions that hurt the state.
A commission will be formed to monitor federal actions that could affect health care in Maryland.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-BIRTH CONTROL
Maryland would steer $2.7 million to fund family planning services at Planned Parenthood if the federal government cuts funding.
The statute of limitations for a survivor of child sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit against an abuser has been extended from the age of 25 to the age of 38.
Maryland’s five largest electric utilities will be required to provide customers with energy-efficiency programs and services to cut energy consumption by 2 percent a year. It extends the EmPower Maryland initiative, which was first enacted in 2008.
Oyster sanctuaries in the Chesapeake Bay will remain barred to watermen until a survey on the oyster population is finished next year.
A moratorium on fishing for cownose rays has been set until July 1, 2019. The Department of Natural Resources will prepare a fisheries management plan by Dec. 31, 2018.
Maryland Environmental Service employees will have collective bargaining rights similar to those of most state employees. MES will be required to recognize an employee organization that is elected to represent them.
PRINCE GEORGE’S HOSPITAL
The state will provide $100 million for operating grants for the Prince George’s County Regional Medical Center from fiscal year 2018 through 2028.
The state’s $1.1 billion takes the Board of Public Works out of the process of approving school construction plans.
A working group will study the implementation of universal access to prekindergarten for 4-year-olds.