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Hogan signs fracking ban, 6 more bills into law

ANNAPOLIS — Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas will be banned in Maryland under a bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Larry Hogan.

House Bill 1325, sponsored by Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo, D-Montgomery, was one of seven bills signed into law. The ceremony was the fourth since last Wednesday, when the General Assembly sent 27 bills to the governor which must be signed or vetoed before Thursday under a rule called the six-day rule, which gives the legislature the opportunity to override a veto before the end of the 90-day session.

Hogan announced last month that he would sign a bill banning the controversial process better known as fracking. Currently, there is a moratorium on the process that was set to expire in October. The new law will take effect on Oct. 1.

Hogan has until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. to sign or veto the remaining 16 bills sent up to him last week under the so-called six day rule.

Other bills signed into law Tuesday include:

  • Senate Bill 22, which reduces the threshold for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for lost wages or support to $100 and caps the wage claim at $2,000. The bill also establishes eligibility for the parent, child or spouse of a victim who died as the result of a criminal or delinquent act.
  • Senate Bill 24, which repeals a requirement for police departments to file their witness identification policies with the Maryland State Police.
  • Senate Bill 37, which repeals reporting requirements related to three grant programs within Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention that have never received funding.
  • Senate Bill 182, which reduces from three to two the number of years a judge in Baltimore City and Charles, Harford, and Prince George’s counties must have served in order to be eligible to be recalled for temporary service.
  • House Bill 1632, an emergency bill that requires a doctor or midwife to file a certificate of birth for home births with the state within five days. The requirements are identical to those imposed on medical facilities.
  • House Bill 642, which extends the statute of limitations on civil liability for child sexual abuse to age 38 for the victim or three years after the perpetrator is convicted of a crime related to the alleged incident.

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