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A glance at bills that have passed in Maryland

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 2, 2013 at 10:02 am •  Published: April 2, 2013
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The following measures await Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature:

DEATH PENALTY REPEAL

The measure will make Maryland the 18th state to ban capital punishment.

GAS TAX

Maryland will raise taxes on gasoline for the first time in 20 years. A sales tax will be phased in starting in July, adding about 4 cents to the price of a gallon of gas this summer and as much as 20 cents a gallon by 2016 — if Congress doesn't enact legislation to allow states to charge sales tax on Internet sales.

OFFSHORE WIND

Marylanders would pay about $1.50 a month more on their electric bills to help pay for offshore wind. They would not start paying until an offshore wind project begins generating electricity, which could be years away.

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Some measures that have passed both chambers but still need a final vote to be officially sent to the governor:

BALTIMORE SCHOOLS FUNDING

A major funding plan for Baltimore schools would enable the city to issue about $1 billion in bonds to build new schools and renovate others.

CELLPHONES DRIVING

Talking on a handheld cellphone while driving would become a primary offense, meaning a police officer could pull a driver over if observed talking on a cellphone.

HEALTH CARE

The measure provides a funding source for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, a new insurance market that will offer residents a choice of private health care plans. It also includes an expansion of Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, compared to 124 percent.

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Some high-profile measures that have cleared one chamber and need approval by the other to be sent to the governor:

GUN CONTROL

Some major provisions would require handgun owners to submit fingerprints to the state police to get a license, limit magazines to 10 bullets and ban assault weapons.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

The legislation would create a state commission to oversee medical marijuana at academic medical research centers that decided to participate.

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

The bill would create a more clearly defined framework for public-private partnerships to address the state's infrastructure needs.

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Some measures that have failed to pass:

MINIMUM WAGE

The bill would have raised the state's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10 an hour.

HOUSING DISCRIMINATION

The measure, which was sent back by the Senate to a committee, would have prevented landlords from declining to rent to people who get government assistance for housing.

SEPTIC BAN

The bill would have repealed a law designed to fight pollution by limiting the growth of septic systems in Maryland.


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