BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hundreds of new bills were signed into law in Annapolis on Tuesday.
As Alex Demetrick reports, one helps sex trafficking victims, and another helps first responders stay in Maryland.
Sex trafficking targets children as well as adults.
“My mom had a boyfriend who would molest me and then, in turn, shoot me up with heroin so he could market me to his friends,” says one victim.
“Over the past four or five years we’ve received up to 213 child victims in our state,” says Nadine Finnegan-Carr, with the University of Maryland School of Social Work.
Senate Bill 308 and House Bill 632 are just two of the more than 200 bills signed into law at the statehouse. Both are aimed at helping children recover from being sexually exploited by traffickers.
“This will at least allow us to better serve those victims and eventually prevent more victims from occurring,” Finnegan-Carr says.
A separate bill helps to prevent first responders from leaving Maryland after they retire. Known as the Hometown Heroes Bill, it exempts their retirement income from state taxes. It’s the same break that draws retirees to Delaware.
“You really want to stay here in Maryland, but this bill right here, it keeps you here at home, keep the tax money here and it helps everyone. And it’s a big win for us,” says Baltimore city firefighter, Robert Duckett, Jr.
This is the fourth bill signing ceremony this year, with still more to come, because a total of nine hundred bills were passed by the legislature this year.
Governor Hogan has until May 30 to sign or veto the remaining bills. If he takes no action, they automatically become law.