Many new laws are set to go into effect Friday, July 1, 2022 across DC, Maryland and Virginia affecting minimum wage, taxes, schools, alcohol, marijuana, sexually explicit material, hunting, taxes, abortion – and several other aspects of daily life.
Here’s a break-down of some of the important laws taking effect July 1:
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
- The District’s minimum wage will increase from $15.50 to $16.10 per hour for all non-tipped workers, regardless of the size of the employer. The minimum wage for tipped employees will be increased from $5.05 per hour to $5.35 per hour. The increase is due to provisions in the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment of 2016 that tie D.C.’s minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index.
RELATED: DC minimum wage increase takes effect Friday
- A new law will allow cocktails to-go and alcoholic drinks for delivery until 2024 thanks to a bill that creates a third-party license allowing the holder to deliver alcoholic beverages bought from businesses with licenses from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.
- New laws will also allow casinos to obtain a new mixed beverage casino license for on-site consumption during all hours of operation, and creates a system for casinos to establish loyalty or reward programs.
- A new law increases the amount of alcohol someone can bring into Virginia from another state from one gallon to three gallons
- Virginia schools have to alert parents if books or other materials their children are assigned have sexually explicit content and provide an alternative option by 2023. The measure requires the Virginia Board of Education to develop policies by July 31, and each local school board must adopt the policies by January 1, 2023.
- A new law will establish mandates at nonprofit private institutions of higher education and public institutions of higher education relating to hazing, and defines different types of organizations at such institutions to which the mandates apply. The bill requires each such institution to provide members of each student organization with new members hazing prevention training that includes extensive, current, and in-person education about hazing, the dangers of hazing, including alcohol intoxication, and hazing laws and institution policies and information explaining that the institution’s disciplinary process is not to be considered a substitute for the criminal legal process.
- Virginia school principals will have to once again report certain misdemeanors to law enforcement. These include assault and battery, threats made against school employees, alcohol or drug use and stalking.
- A new law requires law enforcement agencies in localities that do not employ school resource officers to designate a law enforcement officer to receive training on school safety and to serve as the liaison for administrators in elementary and secondary schools.
READ MORE: New Virginia law aims to improve school emergency response
History and Culture
- New legislation creates the Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Historic Preservation Fund, which can give money to state and federally recognized Native American tribes, nonprofits and localities.
- A bill makes historic African-American cemeteries that opened between 1900 and 1948 eligible for state funding for preservation and restoration.
- Virginians who want a medical marijuana license won’t need to register with the state, but people will still need approval from one of the nearly 750 medical cannabis practitioners registered in the state. The change will allow medical cannabis patients to buy marijuana products from dispensaries after receiving a certificate from a registered practitioner.
- New legislation bans police and sheriff’s departments from requiring a specific number of tickets and arrests from their officers. The new law also ensures that arrest numbers or summonses issued by an officer will not be used as the sole criteria for reviewing job performance.
- Law enforcement will be able to pull drivers over who have loud exhaust systems on their cars. The legislation was put back in place after being removed about a year ago. The penalty for driving a car with a loud exhaust system is punishable by up to a $250 fine.
Sexually Explicit Material
- Any adult who knowingly sends “an intimate image” electronically to another adult without their consent could face a financial penalty. The penalty could amount to actual damages or $500. Under the law, an “intimate image” is considered any photo, film, video, recording, digital picture or other visual reproduction of an adult who is naked.
- Virginia’s longtime ban on switchblades will end, but people won’t be able to conceal the knives from view.
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- A new law will allow hunting on public land in Virginia on Sundays. The new law does, however, keep the existing restrictions on using dogs or hunting within 200 yards of a place of worship.
- Dogs engaged in lawful hunting will have to wear a substantial collar with a tag attached that identifies the name of the owner or custodian of the dog and a current phone number.
- A new law will make it a felony for a person to willfully break, injure, tamper with, or remove any part or parts of any vehicle, aircraft, boat, or vessel to remove a catalytic converter or the parts thereof.
- Hospitals will now be required to make information about standard charges for items and services provided by the hospital available on the hospital’s website.
- Several items sold in Maryland will be exempt from the sales and use tax. These include diapers, diaper rash cream, baby wipes, baby bottles, baby bottle nipples, infant car seats, oral hygiene products, thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors, respirators, and certain diabetic care products.
- A new law will alter the definition of “digital product” for purposes of the application of the sales and use tax to exclude certain products where the purchaser has a certain property interest and certain types of computer software.
- A new law will allow a subtraction modification under the Maryland income tax for individuals who are at least 55 years old for the first $15,000 of income from a certain employee retirement system that is attributable to the individual’s employment as a public safety employee.
- A bill will establish a tax credit for most retired Marylanders. The credit will be worth up to $1,000 for an individual and $1,750 for a married couple. To qualify, residents must be at least 65 and their federal adjusted gross income may not exceed $100,000 as an individual or $150,000 as a married couple. In some cases, retirees may pay no state income tax.
- The Work Opportunity Tax Credit provides incentives to employers and businesses that hire and retain workers from underserved communities with longstanding obstacles to entering the workforce. Targeted groups for the credit include individuals who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, veterans, residents of empowerment zones or rural renewal counties, formerly incarcerated individuals, those who have been convicted of a felony, individuals experiencing long-term unemployment, supplemental Social Security income recipients, individuals who receive SNAP benefits, and those with mental or physical disabilities.
- A law will establish the Homeowner Protection Program in the Department of Assessments and Taxation for the purpose of diverting vulnerable homeowners from the private tax lien sale process into an alternative program with the intent of minimizing tax collection costs to owners, assisting owners to pay their taxes, and allowing owners to remain in their homes.
- A law will create a Medium–Duty and Heavy–Duty Zero–Emission Vehicle Grant Program for certain vehicles and equipment to be administered by the Maryland Energy Administration. The bill would also lower the vehicle excise tax credit for the purchase of certain electric vehicles from $63,000 to $50,000.
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- A new law will require local school systems to provide equivalent access to digital tools for students with disabilities, including the development, purchase, and provision of certain digital tools that are directly connected to student instruction.
- The Elijah Gorham Act will alter the requirements for an automated external defibrillator program in public middle and high schools. The law will also require middle schools and high schools to develop venue specific emergency action plans for the operation and use of automatic external defibrillators, heat acclimatization, and coordination of care for other emergent injuries and severe weather for outdoor facilities.
- A law will prohibit county boards of education and certain schools and prekindergarten programs from taking certain discriminatory actions because of a person’s race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
- A new law will require each county board of education to adopt an attendance policy for public school students that treats an absence due to a student’s behavioral health needs the same as an absence due to illness or another somatic health need; and requiring a public school to provide information to a student or the student’s parent or guardian about school or community behavioral health resources that are available to the student.
- A law will prohibit certain public agencies from using seclusion or physical restraint as a behavioral health intervention for a student.
- The Purple Star Schools Program will recognize public schools that provide strong services and support for military–connected students and their families when, as a result of military service, a military–connected student transfers schools.
- The Grant Program to Reduce and Compost School Waste will require county boards of education and public schools to develop and implement programs for reducing food waste and to establish composting of pre– and post–consumer waste.
READ MORE: Maryland House members to support amendment to protect abortion rights
Abortion Rights Expansion
- The Abortion Care Access Act will allow nurse practitioners, midwives, and other non-physician medical professionals to perform abortions in Maryland. The bill includes $3.5 million a year to train medical professionals in safely performing abortions. The measure will also require most health insurance plans to cover abortions at no cost to patients.
- A new law will allow Sunday hunting in Maryland under certain circumstances.
- Landowners can grant individual’s hunting access to their properties on a limited basis, provided that the individual consents to adhere to every law, observe every safety precaution and practice, observe all property boundaries, take every precaution against fire, and assume all responsibility and liability for the individual’s safety and property while hunting on the landowner’s real property