Listed below are some of the new laws that go into effect in Maryland Tuesday, July 1, 2014.
A film production tax credit will increase from $7,500,000 to $18,500,000 for production companies filming in the state. Actor Kevin Spacey, who stars in the Netflix series “House of Cards,” which shoots in Maryland, had lobbied earlier this year for a higher tax credit. The state’s corporate income tax will go down by 0.45 percent each year for the next five years, starting at 8.25 percent and dropping to 6 percent.
“Bring Your Own Booze” will be outlawed in Calvert County. Specifically, you will not be able to consume alcohol in county businesses that don’t hold a license. Retailers are now prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of 95 percent (190 proof) or more.“Vaportinis,” which make it possible to inhale alcohol through a glass straw, will also be banned. A Vaportini device has a glass sphere filled with alcohol and a candle beneath it. The heat evaporates the alcohol, and the user inhales the vapors. The alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. The law makes it a misdemeanor to use such a device.
Cars and Driving:
There will be new financial incentives to purchase plug-in electric vehicles and recharging stations. The state will continue offering a tax credit on the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles through June 2017 and, in most cases, increases the value of the tax credit by changing the calculation based on a vehicle’s battery size.The Maryland Transportation Authority will stop making capital investments in its Interstate 95 toll plaza, and will be required to remove it when it becomes functionally obsolete and build a new one.Drivers now have a longer period of time to pay video toll fines after getting a notice. Each notice will be mailed separately.A portion of the fines collected for texting while driving offenses will now go toward educational programs at the University of Maryland. Twenty-five percent of the fines will be used to fund programs addressing the dangers of distracted driving.
Victims of Crimes:
New laws to help victims of crime also are taking effect Tuesday. One requires the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to create and expand programs for those who have lost family members to homicide in the state. The state budget includes $500,000 for a grant program to help them. Programs include providing and facilitating referrals to appropriate legal and mental health counseling services for survivors of homicide victims, including specialized support services for adult and minor survivors.Another law will enable victims of crime receive faster information about court cases through email. Previously, those notices came by mail through the U.S. Postal Service.
The State Board of Education will be required to develop content for a course in financial literacy to be taught in public schools.The Department of Natural Resources will create a program in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary counties to train rifle shooters to hunt deer to control the deer population in those areas. People who hold Deer Management Permits in those counties will be allowed to hunt deer with specified shotguns throughout deer season under specified conditions.
The Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency will now be prohibited from allowing people to purchase lottery tickets through electronic devices that connects to the Internet. Maryland will make efforts to update voter registration lists by receiving reports of specified deceased voters from U.S. Social Security.