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A Look At The Bills Passed By Maryland General Assembly

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s 90-day legislative session is coming to an end. Lawmakers will be working on changes to the state’s medical marijuana law. The session is scheduled to adjourn Monday at midnight. Here is a look at some of the legislation that already has passed:

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SICK LEAVE

Businesses with 15 or more employees would be required to provide five paid sick days.

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GAS DRILLING

Maryland has banned the hydraulic fracturing drilling process known as fracking.

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GENERIC DRUGS-PRICE GOUGING

Maryland’s attorney general would be able to bring civil actions against manufacturers of off-patent or generic drugs that make an “unconscionable” price increase — described as an excessive increase unjustified by the cost of producing or distributing the drug.

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OVERDOSE DEATHS

A comprehensive package of measures to try to address opioid drug overdoses has been approved. The HOPE Act requires hospitals to set a new protocol for discharging patients treated for substance abuse disorders. It also increases access to the overdose-reversal drug known as naloxone. The Start Talking Maryland Act would require specific education programs in schools on opioid addiction.

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SCHOOLS ACCOUNTABILITY

A blueprint for identifying and assisting struggling schools in Maryland has been approved in response to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. It makes academic performance 65 percent of the formula to identify struggling schools, along with a variety of other indicators also playing a role in evaluating performance.

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SCHOOL TESTING

Limits on school testing would be limited to 2.2 percent of the school year. That’s about 24 hours for elementary and middle schools and about 26 hours in high schools, except for eighth grade, which would be limited to about 25 hours.

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TRUMP-MARYLAND-LAWSUITS

The General Assembly approved a resolution enabling the attorney general to sue the federal government without the governor’s permission. Separately, the attorney general’s office will receive $1 million in future budgets to pay for added expenses for bringing lawsuits against federal government actions that hurt the state.

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HEALTH CARE

A commission will be formed to monitor federal actions that could affect health care in Maryland.

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HEALTH OVERHAUL-BIRTH CONTROL

Maryland would steer $2.7 million to fund family planning services at Planned Parenthood if the federal government cuts funding.

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SEXUAL ABUSE-LAWSUITS

The statute of limitations for a survivor of child sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit against an abuser has been extended from the age of 25 to the age of 38.

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ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Maryland’s five largest electric utilities will be required to provide customers with energy-efficiency programs and services to cut energy consumption by 2 percent a year. It extends the EmPower Maryland initiative, which was first enacted in 2008.

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OYSTER SANTUARIES

Oyster sanctuaries in the Chesapeake Bay will remain barred to watermen until a survey on the oyster population is finished next year.

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COWNOSE RAYS

A moratorium on fishing for cownose rays has been set until July 1, 2019. The Department of Natural Resources will prepare a fisheries management plan by Dec. 31, 2018.

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LIVESTOCK-ANTIBIOTICS

Maryland would become the second state in the nation to prohibit routine antibiotic use in livestock, out of concern within the public health community about antibiotic resistance.

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COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Maryland Environmental Service employees will have collective bargaining rights similar to those of most state employees. MES will be required to recognize an employee organization that is elected to represent them.

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PRINCE GEORGE’S HOSPITAL

The state will provide $100 million for operating grants for the Prince George’s County Regional Medical Center from fiscal year 2018 through 2028.

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CAPITAL BUDGET

The state’s $1.1 billion takes the Board of Public Works out of the process of approving school construction plans.

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PRE-K

A working group will study the implementation of universal access to prekindergarten for 4-year-olds.

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(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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