gov office larry hogan

For immediate release:
April 26, 2016
Hannah Marr
Shareese Churchill

Governor Larry Hogan Signs 172 Bills Into Law
Bills Expand Opportunities for Students and Voters, Strengthen Tools to Fight Against Opioid Abuse

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today was joined by Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker of the House Mike Busch for a bill signing ceremony at the State House in Annapolis, which included a number of bills aimed at creating opportunities for Maryland’s students, as well as broadly expanding opportunities for voters to participate in early voting. In total, the governor signed 172 bills into law.

“Our administration’s top priority has and always will be education, and we want to continue encouraging the kinds of innovative ideas that give parents the best options to prepare children for higher education and for rewarding employment,” said Governor Hogan. “With this bill signing, we are creating educational opportunities that pave a clear pathway to careers and produce students who have both the skills and the opportunities they need to be successful.”

Among the bills signed today is SB 376, which establishes the state-funded Pathways in Technology Early College High schools, better known as P-TECH schools, in Maryland through grants to local schools or districts.The P-TECH education model, co-developed by IBM, is an innovative, nationally recognized approach that blends high school, college, and work experience in one. P-TECH schools offer students an integrated six-year education program that combines high school, college, and workplace skills required for 21st-century jobs. Graduates from Maryland’s P-TECH schools will earn their high school diploma and a two-year postsecondary degree in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) from an accredited community college and will be first in line for skilled jobs upon graduation through partnerships with private sector participants.

Additional bills signed today include:

SB 381 – Housing and Community Development – Community Development Administration – Student and Residential Mortgage Loans – Allows graduates to finance student loans when undertaking a home mortgage. The program will be authorized through the Community Development Authority under the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

HB 1007 – Freedom to Vote Act – Requires certain state agencies that are deemed electronic voter registration agencies to implement electronic voter registration systems on or before July 1, 2017; requires the State Board of Elections to register individuals whose voter registration information is transmitted to the Board through an electronic voter registration system.

HB 1008 – Election Law – Early Voting Center – Expands opportunities for voters to participate in early voting by authorizing additional polling locations; increases the number of early voting centers that counties with more than 200,000 registered voters are required to establish; provides that counties with fewer than 200,000 registered voters may establish one additional early voting center under specified circumstances.

HB 437 – Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) – Modifications – Requires mandatory registration with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to all providers that have a license to prescribe or dispense controlled dangerous substances before obtaining a new or renewal controlled dangerous substance registration; also requires certain providers to check the PDMP before prescribing an opioid or benzodiazepine. Mandatory registration and use will make the PDMP a more effective tool in the fight against opioid abuse.

SB 377/HB 451 – Admissions and Amusement Tax – Revenue Distribution – Maryland State Arts Council– Alters a distribution of revenue from the state admissions and amusement tax on electronic bingo and electronic tip jars to provide a permanent funding stream for the Maryland State Arts Council, as well as the Special Fund for Preservation of Cultural Arts in Maryland.

For a complete list of the bills signed today, please visit here.