The following legislative proposals that are to be presented at the MLAW Fall Conference on Saturday, November 13, 2021.
1. Time to Care Act: This legislation would ensure Marylanders no longer have to choose between the job they need and the family they love by establishing a family and medical leave insurance fund to provide partial wage replacement for employees who take leave to care for a new child, a family member with a serious health condition, their own serious medical condition, or a family member’s military deployment.
2. Motor Vehicle Insurance – Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating – Use of Gender: This bill will eliminate gender discrimination in auto insurance pricing by prohibiting an auto insurer from including gender as one of the rate factors used to set auto insurance premiums.
3. Primary Caretakers Bill: This bill asks judges to consider whether a person convicted a of non-violent offense is a caretaker of a dependent, and if so, whether that person can be placed into a community-based alternative to incarceration that would prevent separation of the caretaker and their dependent.
4. Stalking: This bill will expand the current stalking statute to include electronic communication and tracking devices
5. Safe Harbor: This bill will provide a safe harbor for child victims of sex trafficking and prevent their further victimization by connecting them to any services needed through the already established regional navigator program while preventing any criminal or delinquent charges that might be brought against them because they are a victim of trafficking.
6. Repeal of Marriage as a Defense to Sex Crimes – Love is No Defense: This bill seeks to repeal the law allowing marriage as a defense to sex crimes.
7. Interim and Temporary Protective Order – Virtual Petition and Hearing: This bill proposes to expand access to safety through the courts by enabling petitioners eligible for protective orders who are seeking medical treatment in a hospital or urgent care setting to petition for an interim or temporary protective order from that setting and have the hearing conducting remotely.
8. Child Custody and Visitation – Reasonable Effort to Protect: This bill would state that any reasonable effort to protect a child or a party to a custody or visitation order from the other party may not be considered an unjustifiable denial or interference with visitation granted by a custody or visitation order
9. Tender Heart Doctrine update: This bill would add Criminal Child Neglect and witnessing crimes of violence a crime of violence to the tender heart doctrine applicability, so evidence collected from young children is admissible in court.
10. Police Training – Stalkerware: This bill would require police to be trained in the criminal laws concerning stalking as they pertain to electronic surveillance or tracking, including services available to victims, related prevention methods for victims, and how to document digital evidence.
11. Family Law – Emancipation of a Minor and Authorization to Marry: This bill would prohibit an individual under the age of 17 years from marrying and altering the conditions under which an individual who is 17 years old is authorized to marry.
12. Innkeepers – Records and Human Trafficking Awareness Training: This bill would require innkeepers to maintain computerized records of all guest transactions and receipts and all employees to receive training to identify and report suspected human trafficking.
13. Termination of Pregnancy – Performance and Criminal and Civil Liability (Pregnant Person’s Dignity Act): This bill will prohibit subjecting pregnant people or those who have experienced pregnancy loss or termination to Maryland’s criminal justice and/or civil court systems, as well as individuals who assist or provide aid to pregnant people seeking abortion care.
14. Abortion Care Access Act of 2022: This legislation will protect and increase access to affordable abortion care in Maryland.
15. Prevention of Forced Infant Separation Act: This bill prevents the forced separation of infants born to incarcerated women with pre-release status in Maryland.