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.
A team of researchers studying dolphins in the Potomac River got unexpected fruit from their labors last month when they witnessed a dolphin being born near the river’s confluence with the Chesapeake Bay. Bottlenose dolphins are among the most studied species in the world, but a wild birth has only been documented in scientific literature on one other occasion: in 2013 off the coast of Georgia.
Legal but politically stupid. That was the decision last week by the workgroup on school spending to go into closed session to begin hashing out funding formulas. This was a shocker from a commission that has been remarkably open and transparent.
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.”
Rather than a new vehicle-oriented Chesapeake Bay Bridge crossing, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy strongly supports the research and immediate implementation of aggressive travel demand management (TDM) strategies to more easily cross the current Chesapeake Bay Bridge spans. Why not make the absolute best of what we currently have using technology and smart infrastructure-based planning, prior to embarking on a project that is literally years and billions of dollars away from happening? We need relief from congestion now.
To blunt the impact of rising temperatures, officials have proposed dozens of changes, from creating more pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods to banning foam containers. But some neighborhoods, known as heat islands, will need added help because they already feel more of the harmful impact of global warming.
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.
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.
Researchers have mapped neighborhoods called urban heat islands, and data shows that temperatures here and in surrounding neighborhoods can run 8 degrees hotter than in communities that have more trees and less pavement. McElderry Park in Baltimore is one of these.
Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement last week that he will only consider a third Bay Bridge next to the existing spans on Kent Island was welcome news to leaders in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, but reaction from conservation groups was mixed.