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Maryland lawmakers override Hogan’s vetoes near session end

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes on Saturday of measures to create a paid family leave insurance program, expand access to abortion in the state and other bills.

The state will end a restriction that only physicians can provide abortions. The new law will enable nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants to provide them with training.

It creates an abortion care training program and requires $3.5 million in state funding annually. It also requires most insurance plans to cover abortions without cost.

Hogan wrote in his veto letter that the legislation “endangers the health and lives of women by allowing non-physicians to perform abortions.”

The measure comes at a time when the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing whether to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that banned states from outlawing abortion.

If they do, at least 26 states are likely to either ban abortion outright or severely limit access, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization that supports abortion rights.

The measure takes effect July 1. The insurance provisions apply to all policies, contracts, and health benefit plans issued, delivered, or renewed in the state on or after Jan. 1.

Here’s a look at the other measures the Democratic-led General Assembly enacted into law over the Republican governor’s vetoes:

Paid family leave

Maryland workers will be able to take up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave to deal with such family issues as having a baby, caring for a sick relative or dealing with a military deployment. Up to 24 weeks could be taken in some cases, such as when someone who took 12 weeks due to an illness has a child later.

Juvenile justice reform

A law enforcement officer will be prohibited from conducting custodial interrogation of a child, unless the child has consulted with an attorney.

Gun shops security

Firearms dealers will be required to have certain security measures in place at stores.

Health officers removal

County health officers will be entitled to written notice about removal from their positions as well as the opportunity to request a hearing.

Prevailing wage

A state labor department official will be able to issue a stop-work order for a work site where the official determines a contractor may have violated prevailing wage requirements.

MARC train

The Maryland Transit Administration will be required to make investments in programs to advance the Maryland Area Regional Commuter Cornerstone Plan and other MARC improvements.

Collective bargaining

Public defenders will be able to participate in collective bargaining. Maryland Transit Administration Police sergeants and supervisors can also participate in collective bargaining.