On October 1, 2019, a number of bills that were passed by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2019 Legislative Session will become law. These bills included a number of important initiatives that Senator Jack Bailey supported to help improve public safety and protect vulnerable individuals in Maryland, including:
Senate Bill 561 – Criminal Law – Crime of Violence Against Pregnant Person – Enhanced Penalty (Laura and Reid’s Law)
Senate Bill 561 increases penalties imposed against individuals who commit crimes of violence against pregnant women. Under the bill, a person who commits a crime of violence against someone who they know or believe is pregnant is guilty of a felony and can be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison in addition to any penalty imposed for the underlying crime of violence.
Senate Bill 103 – Criminal Law – Electronic Harassment and Bullying (Grace’s Law 2.0)
Senate Bill 103 strengthens Maryland’s laws that protect minors from electronic harassment by expanding the scope of what conduct is prohibited and increasing the maximum penalties for those who break the law. A person who violates the electronic harassment statute with the intent to induce a minor to commit suicide is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 maximum fine. In addition, the bill increases the maximum penalties for violating other elements of the state’s laws against electronic harassment to three years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
House Bill 707 – Drunk and Drugged Driving Offenses – Penalties
House Bill 707 increases penalties for offenders who are repeatedly caught driving under the influence of alcohol or while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or controlled dangerous substances. A person who is found guilty of any of these offenses for the third time can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. A person who is found guilty of any of these offenses more than three times, or if found guilty of any of these offenses after being previously convicted of a drunk or drugged driving offense that resulted in homicide or life-threatening injury, can be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
In addition to these important public safety measures, the residents of District 29 should be aware of these other significant new laws that are effective October 1:
House Bill 1169 – Business Regulation – Tobacco Products and Electronic Smoking Devices – Revisions
House Bill 1169 makes numerous changes to the regulation of tobacco products in Maryland. Most notably, this bill raises the minimum legal purchasing age for tobacco products from 18 to 21. The increased minimum age does not apply to active duty members of the military who are over the age of 18 and who present a valid military identification.
Senate Bill 449 – Election Law – Registration and Voting at Precinct Polling Places
Senate Bill 449 allows Marylanders to register to vote and vote on the same day at Maryland polling places on Election Day. An individual who wants to register to vote on Election Day must present a Maryland Drivers’ License or Identification Card that contains the individual’s current address or a copy of an official document that has the individual’s name and current address to provide proof of residency.
Click the button below for a complete list of the bills that will become effective on October 1, 2019.