lawlibrary Maryland Law

New Laws in Effect on July 1, 2017 in Maryland

Many of the laws passed in the 2017 session of the Maryland General Assembly go into effect on Saturday, July 1.  According to the  Department of Legislative Services General Assembly of Maryland Dates of Interest 2017 most laws will go into effect on October 1 but the bills that  are budgetary, tax, and revenue bills will go into effect on July 1.

Maryland public libraries are happy that there will now be a Maryland State Law Library Agency beginning July 1, 2017.  HB1094/CH338 and SB587/CH337 will make the agency governing public libraries an independent agency rather than a division of the Department of Education.

Other state agencies got new names.  There is now a Health Department instead of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene per SB82/CH214.  HB103/CH205 renames the Department of Human Resources to be the Department of Human Services; and the Child Support Enforcement Administration will become the Child Support Administration.

An article in the Baltimore Sun, “Laws to take effect on Sat.”  also provides a good overview.  Articles in the Capital and U.S. News & World Reports cover the same list of bills.  The list includes Planned Parenthood funding (HB1083/CH28 and SB1081/CH810) and the Taxpayer Protection Act (SB304/CH379).

For a full listing of laws in effect on July 1, please see the “2017 Chapters – Effective July 1, 2017” published by The Department of Legislative Services. “The 90 Day Report,” also published by the Department, provides a review of all legislation passed in 2017.

lawlibrary Library Legislative Day Maryland Law UELMA

Maryland Libraries and 2017 Maryland Legislative Session

The Maryland Legislative Session ended at midnight last night and Maryland librarians can be happy with the outcome. There were two bills in the 2017 Legislative Session of special interest to libraries.  Both bills passed both houses unanimously and are on the way to becoming law.

Maryland Libraries – Reorganization of Governance Structure  (SB587/HB1094)

Under the current or soon to be previous law, libraries were a part of the Maryland Department of Education with K through 12.  Now there will be a separate, independent agency on the same level as the Department of Education and the Department of Higher Education.  Maryland will now have a State Library Agency headed by the State Librarian with a State Library Board made up of citizens appointed by the Governor. This way there will be an agency devoted solely to the issues of libraries that will ensure that funding intended for libraries is used for libraries.

UELMA (SB137/HB165)

The LLAM (Law Library Association of Maryland) information sheet states: The Maryland Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) provides online legal material with the same level of trustworthiness traditionally provided by publication in a law book. It is the People’s insurance policy that official electronic legal materials are  authenticated, by providing a method to determine that it is unaltered;  preserved, either in electronic or print form; and accessible, for use by the public on a permanent basis.  This means that if a publisher of Maryland legal material such as the code, regulations or case law would cease to be published in print, the publication would become official and would have to be authenticated, preserved and accessible.  As long as the print exists, the provisions will not be activated.  However, if and when the time comes, Maryland is ready to make sure that this important information is still available.