Today brings some changes to Maryland laws.
Maryland’s minimum wage will increase from $8.25 to $8.75. It is scheduled to go up to $9.25 next year and reach $10.10 in July 2018.
The state’s gas tax will rise nine-tenths of a cent to 33.5 cents. In 2013, Lawmakers approved several increases that included regular hikes to adjust for inflation. The state’s gas tax has increased a dime since 2013, when lawmakers approved the first increase in 20 years from 23.5 cents.
A ban on powdered alcohol will be extended two years until June 30, 2018.
A Teacher Induction, Retention and Advancement Pilot Program will be established for specified first-year teachers. Also, the maximum state matching stipend for teachers who hold National Board Certification increases from $2,000 to $4,000.
A new scoring system to prioritize transportation projects will be put in place. It’s the result of a battle between the Republican governor and the Democrat-controlled Legislature over transportation funding. The governor won’t be prevented from funding a project with a lower score than another, an explanation would be required for the decision. The governor vetoed the bill, but the Legislature overrode the veto in April, shortly before adjourning.
Other new laws include a fund to maintain the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in St. Mary's County; Program Open Space and a seal for high school diplomas of students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages.