Hundreds of new Maryland laws take effect Tuesday, Oct. 1

Hundreds of Maryland laws go into effect Tuesday, spanning subjects from increasing the age to buy cigarettes and vapes to taxing online sales and banning bump stocks for firearms. Here is a short summary of more than 70 of the new laws, including a link to their full legislative history and slug lines that make the list easy to scan.

Slight uptick in state revenues, but caution urged

The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates voted unanimously Thursday to increase the state’s projected revenues for the current fiscal year by just under $130 million, but cautioned that the uptick “is not indicative of long-term economic growth.”

Code Red Part 3: No trees, no shade, no relief as temperatures rise

In a city marked by startling inequity, leaf cover is just one more thing that has been historically distributed in unequal measure. Baltimore’s poorest areas tend to have less tree canopy than wealthier areas, a pattern that is especially pronounced on the concrete-dense east side, in neighborhoods like Broadway East.

Code Red Part 2: Health risks rise with temperature

Heat waves are especially perilous because consecutive days with the heat index at 103 degrees or above greatly increase risks for older people, children, pregnant women and anyone with heat-affected chronic disease.

Bitter Cold Part 5: Programs leave many out in the cold

Customers whose power is off at the end of October aren’t protected by state regulations that restrict — but don’t eliminate — disconnections from Nov. 1 through March. To be reconnected during the winter or after it, customers who owe utilities money must make arrangements to pay up. But that’s a financial hurdle for many.

Bitter Cold Part 3: Cold a costly challenge

Baltimore resident Delores Buchanan limits going outside when it’s cold. Neuropathy causes her feet to tense up and sting, and cold worsens the pain by reducing blood flow to the hands and feet. It is one of many conditions exacerbated by extreme temperatures.

Bitter Cold Part 2: Cold weather harms health

Every winter, health officials warn of outdoor dangers for the homeless, who can freeze to death from hypothermia and snow shovelers who suffer heart attacks.  Yet many more people are at risk indoors if their power has been shut off or they can’t afford to raise the thermostat.  Research shows that for those with chronic disease a cold interior may be a dangerous environment.