Most laws passed during the Maryland legislature’s 2010 session will go into effect on October 1, 2010. Just a few are highlighted below.
CELL PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING
The law prohibiting hand-held cell phone use while driving except to “initiate or terminate a wireless telephone call or to turn on or turn off the handheld telephone” has been getting a lot of press as the deadline nears. The new law enacted per CH538/716 can be found at MD. CODE ANN., TRANSP. § 21-1124.2.
NEW CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
Child Support Guidelines have not had a major revision since being adopted in 1989. The child support schedule found at MD. CODE ANN., FAM. LAW. § 12-204 as enacted by CH262/263 now has a higher upper income limit. However, not all amounts have adjusted upwards. Some at the lower income levels have actually decreased.
COUNTY CODES WILL CONTINUE TO BE PRESERVED IN PRINT
Print copies of county codes will no longer have to be distributed to the county’s legislative delegation if an electronic version is available. However, print copies will still have to be distributed to the Maryland State Archives, the Maryland State Law Library and the State Department of Legislative Services. This was a great relief to Maryland librarians as the bill, as first introduced, would not have required the distribution of any print copies. It is hoped that print versions of important sources of primary law not be eliminated unless the online version can be authenticated and provisions are made for permanent public access. Changes to Art. 25A, §7 and Art. 25B, §12 were enacted by CH 654.
MARYLAND LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION FUNDING
CH. 486 made changes to MD. CODE ANN., CTS. & JUD. PROC. §7-202 and §7-301 as well as to MD. COD ANN., HUM. SERV. §11-208 . The law increases the maximum filing fee in civil cases used to fund the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. As the funding from IOLTA funds has dropped dramatically for the MLSC the demand for MLSC funded services has risen at a great rate as well. This increase in the filing fee surcharge is intended to address the shortfall.
MORE 2010 SESSION INFORMATION
These laws are obviously just a few of the many laws passed this last session. The 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2010 Legislative Session prepared by Karl S. Aro, the Executive Director of the Department of Legislative Services, provides a detailed overview of the last session including a discussion of the legislation that passed and the bills that did not. Additional information can be found at the Maryland General Assembly website: http://mlis.state.md.us/