Several New Laws Take Effect in D.C., Maryland, Virginia on July 1

Several new laws are set to take effect Wednesday in Virginia and Maryland.

Here are some of the laws that will go into effect:


As of Wednesday, the minimum wage in the nation's capital is $10.50 an hour. That's higher than in any state, although a handful of cities have approved minimum wages higher than the District's.


Social media: Employers cannot ask employees or prospective employees for the username and passwords of social media accounts.

Breastfeeding: Women can breastfeed anywhere the mother is lawfully present.

Campus sex assault: Lawmakers have approved several measures related to campus sex assault violence. They include requiring campus police departments to notify local prosecutors within 48 hours of starting any investigation into possible felony sexual assault and requiring university registrars to put a note on the transcripts of any student who is suspended, expelled or withdraws from school for reasons related to an offense involving sexual violence.

Medical marijuana: The law provides an ``affirmative defense'' for epilepsy patients who have a doctor's note to use cannabidiol oil for treatment.

State song: Virginia how has two official state songs. The official traditional song is "Our Great Virginia'' and the official popular song is "Sweet Virginia Breeze.''

Police drones: The law requires law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant for use of unmanned aircraft systems.

Traffic: Drivers can cross double yellow lines in order to pass pedestrians and cyclists safely.

Hemp: Farmers can now grow industrial hemp as part of a university-managed research program.



In Maryland, minimum wage increased by a quarter to $8.25.

The increase is one of several approved by the Maryland General Assembly last year, when then-Gov. Martin O'Malley made the increase a priority of his last legislative session as governor.

The first increase took effect in January, when the wage went from $7.25 to $8.
It is set to go up again to $8.75 in 2016 and $9.25 in 2017. It is scheduled to reach $10.10 in 2018.


Sales tax on gasoline will increase from 2 percent to 3 percent.

Overall so far, Maryland drivers will be paying about 8.6 cents a gallon more for gas due to the legislation passed in 2013.


State-mandated stormwater management fees will end, but nine counties and the city of Baltimore will need to show they are paying to meet federal mandates to clean polluted stormwater.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan campaigned against the state-mandated fees, which were approved in the last hour of the 2012 legislative session, and he made repeal a priority of his first session. Critics referred to the fees as ``the rain tax.'' 

The repeal measure that passed earlier this year by wide margins in both houses of the Maryland Legislature has the approval of environmentalists, because it creates greater accountability for the state's 10 most populated jurisdictions in preventing pollution in stormwater from entering the Chesapeake Bay.


Regulations for ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft are going into effect. The law requires background checks for drivers and addresses insurance minimums for ride-share companies that rely on cellphone GPS and messaging to set up passenger rides.


The state's $5,000 tax exemption on military retirement pensions for people over 65 will increase to $10,000. Hogan initially proposed eliminating state income tax on all military retirement income, phased in over a period of four years, but the proposal was scaled back by lawmakers.


Local law enforcement agencies will be required to provide the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention with information on officer-involved deaths and deaths in the line of duty. The office will be required to report information annually on officer-involved deaths and deaths in the line of duty to lawmakers.


A new law to better protect the use of K-12 student data bans companies from using the data to target ads to students or to create personal profiles for noneducational purposes.


A two-year pilot program called Apprenticeship Maryland is being formed to help prepare students to enter the workforce.


Only the state, not local governments, can enact a law or take other action to prohibit, restrict or regulate the testing or operation of unmanned aircraft systems in Maryland.


Maryland is bringing back a voluntary checkoff on individual income tax returns for public campaign financing for governor. 

The original checkoff was repealed in 2010. Its return was a priority for Hogan, who became Maryland's first candidate to win the governorship with public financing.

The fund had not been used since 1994. Last year's election drained the fund down to about $1.1 million.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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