Legislative Digest

ANNAPOLIS –The following is a quick look as
some bills introduced this week with house bills marked HB and Senate bills
marked SB:

HB 686-Smoking Regulations- Condominiums: This bill would
allow the regulations spelled out in the Clean Indoor Air Act to be applied to
condominiums. Essentially, it would allow condo associations to enact and
enforce rules and regulations prohibiting smoking in condos when it can be
proven the smoke emanates to other units. Its potential impact could be huge in
Ocean City and other areas with thousands of
condo units.

HB 617- Cigarette Definition: In this new era of
anti-smoking, state lawmakers have apparently felt the need to closely define
what a cigarette is. For the record, a cigarette is defined as any size or
shaped roll for smoking that is made of tobacco or tobacco mixed with another
ingredient wrapped in paper.

SB 789-Child Safety Seats: This bill addresses the minimum
age and weight requirements for children in vehicle child safety seats,
increasing the required age from six years old to eight years old. It would
eliminate the weight requirement and make eight years old the new standard.

HB 134-Transporting Pets in Trucks and Trailers: This bill
would prohibit a person from transporting domesticated animals in or on a truck
or trailer on a highway unless the truck is enclosed on the sides and top in a
manner that safely prevents the pet from falling, jumping or otherwise exiting
the vehicle.

HB 520: It would prohibit the state Board of Education
from making the passage of statewide, mandatory, curriculum-based exams or
assessments a requirement for graduation from public high schools in Maryland. Currently,
passing the high school assessment exams is a condition of receiving a diploma.

HB 504-Drunk Driving Repeat Offender Special Plates: This
bill would require the Motor Vehicle Administration to issue special license
plates to identify an individual who has been convicted of drunk or drugged
driving three or more times. The plates would include the distinctive “DUI”
markings and provide a scarlet letter of sorts for repeat offenders.