20 Jan 2016

The New Year Means New Laws in Maryland

The new year means a few new laws taking effect in Virginia, Maryland and the District.

Student photo ID cards issued by Virginia private schools are now considered an acceptable form of identification for voters in the commonwealth.

Also in 2016, the state Department of Motor Vehicles can ask drivers to add an emergency contact person to their records to help law enforcement in emergencies. License-holders will be able to update or delete the information electronically at any time.

In Fairfax County, a redefined noise ordinance will take effect Feb. 17. The ordinance regulates noise in the county by maximum decibel levels allowed, instead of depending on a county police officer’s subjective judgment.

The voter-registration provision, which comes from a 2013 bill, allows individuals to register to vote at early-voting centers during early-voting periods. In 2016, those periods run April 14-21 for the April 26 primary election, and Oct. 27-Nov. 3 for the Nov. 8 general election.

Among the insurance statutes, one requires health insurers to provide coverage for at least two brand-name and two generic abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drug products. Abuse-deterrent formulations are designed to produce unpleasant side effects when the opioids are overused.

A separate law will require workers’ compensation insurers to notify clients sooner that they are canceling or refusing to renew a policy. Current guidelines call for 30 days’ notice, but the new law will mandate a 45-day heads-up, giving employers more time to find other policies.

In Prince George’s County, it is now illegal to smoke electronic cigarettes in public buildings. Higher fines for littering will take effect Tuesday. Anyone caught throwing garbage on county land will be slapped with a $1,000 fine — double the previous penalty.

Two other laws, which went into effect Jan. 11, will add any existing tax liens against a property to the following year’s tax bill and penalize anyone caught renting property without a license with higher fines of $1,000 per month.

In Montgomery County and the District, bans on plastic foam containers take effect Friday. Businesses that use the non-­biodegradable foam will be penalized. A similar ban will take effect in Prince George’s on July 1.

In late February, two other laws will take effect in the county. One will increase the maximum fine to $1,000 for those caught selling tobacco to minors. The other will allow police to issue civil citations for solicitation of prostitution in cases where a criminal charge is not appropriate.

For additional information check out the rest of the article here: http://wapo.st/1JYlJT2

We would recommend that couples should contact us for advice at the Law Office of Alice Pare at 301-515-1190 or visit our website at: https://www.alicelaw.com

Do not at any time take the risky move of going at it alone.  We have a wide choice when it comes to going it alone but with the professional advice you will need.

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