Each legislative session, your local legislators are busy enacting new laws which may affect you; the following is a summary of some of the more important laws that have recently taken effect in Maryland. Below is a short overview of the newest state laws in Maryland that came into effect in early October, and what impact they may have on you or your business going forward.

Law Explanation
Fair Housing — HB231/SB50The HOME, or Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Act expands Maryland’s fair housing policy by prohibiting landlords from discriminating against individuals based on their source of income, to include government subsidized housing vouchers, when renting or selling property.
Employment Opportunity — HB1444/SB531Known as the CROWN Act, this law bans employment discrimination due to racial perceptions regarding hair texture or style by expanding the state’s legal definition of race. 
Minority Businesses — HB404/SB499This law requires the Department of Commerce to include information on the percentage of economic development assistance distributed to minority businesses.
Styrofoam Ban — HB109/SB285This law bans the use of Styrofoam food and beverage packaging across the state
Olivia’s Law — HB187/SB329 This legislation is named for Olivia Paregol, a University of Maryland, College Park freshman who died during an adenovirus outbreak on campus in 2018. It required colleges and universities to submit an infectious disease outbreak response plan to the Maryland Department of Health annually beginning in 2021.

It’s easy to see how the health, environmental, and racial justice initiatives of 2020 have impacted the state, and it may be prudent to expect more legislation in these areas before the year ends as well. Contact Weiss LLP for further information.