No to foam containers, yes to chilled beer sales: Md. bills pass without Hogan signature

Dozens of Maryland bills are becoming law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature, among them one that allows Montgomery County-owned liquor stores to sell chilled beer or wine but only if that beer or wine is flowing into a growler or refillable container.

Other laws that did not get Hogan’s signature is the “foam ban,” which bans the use of expanded polystyrene foam, better known as Styrofoam, with some exceptions.

A bill that will expand the membership on the Maryland State Board of Education to include a teacher and a parent of a student currently enrolled in a public school will also become law. It will go into effect June 1.

Another bill will require household movers to register with Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The bill is designed to stop what proponents said was the targeting of Maryland by “rogue” movers who lowball customers, then tack on added fees before agreeing to unload the customer’s belongings.

Another bill decriminalizes attempted suicide. Del. David Moon sponsored that legislation, explaining that criminal statutes don’t prohibit attempted suicide, but since Maryland recognizes common law crimes, the charge is sometimes brought. According to a legislative analysis, attempted suicide charges were made 10 times in the last five years.

During a legislative hearing, Moon, a Democrat who represents Montgomery County, told the panel: “I think it’s important to note that there are any number of alternatives to running someone through the criminal justice system for what is clearly a mental health issue.”

Health care advocates celebrated the passage of a bill that creates a board that will monitor the prices paid for prescription drugs under insurance plans for state and local government workers.

Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizen’s Health initiative, called the measure a “victory of the people of Maryland.”

In Maryland, budget, tax and revenue bills take effect July 1. Most other bills take effect Oct 1. With the exception of emergency bills, the earliest any law can take effect is June 1.

Here are the bills that passed the Maryland Senate and House in 2019.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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