Monday, March 28, 2005

Taping Phone Conversations

Ever wondered what the law is on taping phone conversations in Maryland? The Reporters Committee For The Freedom of The Press, a non-profit organization which provides free legal assistance to journalists, provides a state-by-state summary of these laws. In Maryland, one can tape phone conversations only with consent from all parties.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

New Legislation To Combat Drunk Driving

The Daily Record reports on two bills underfoot in the General Assembly which would prevent convicted drunk drivers from repeating their offenses. A couple of bills (SB 851 and HB HB 732; and SB 852 and HB 815) introduced both in the House and Senate would require that drunk drivers first pass a breath test before operating their vehicle. Current laws require this option only as an alternative to suspending the individual's license.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

How A Bill Becomes A Law

Many of you may already be familiar with the process for How A Bill Becomes A Law In Maryland. For those of us who are not, the Department of Legislative Services offers a good overview of the process. In addition, you may want to check out the Legislative Drafting Manual which guides the details of how this process occurs and describes how and when enrolled bills are incorporated into the Maryland Annotated Code.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Child Abuse, Neglect, Welfare, & Adoption Resource

The National Adoption Information Clearninghouse (NAIC) provides this site on state laws relating to child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. From the pull down menu, select Maryland, and then check your topic of interest. Thanks to Genie Tyburski from the Virtual Chase for suggesting.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Maryland Disability Law Center

The Maryland Disability Law Center (MDLC), a private, non-profit organization, "ensures that people with disabilities are accorded the full rights and entitlements afforded to them by state and federal law." The center publishes "Special Education Rights And Wrongs," a handbook for parents and an introduction to special education law. See other publications listed on their site and check out the links page.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Maryland Clean Energy Incentive Act

The Maryland Clean Energy Incentive Act, passed by the General Assembly in 2000, provides tax incentives for purchasing energy saving, non-polutting products. See the Maryland Energy Administration's Clean Energy Incentive Program page for more info.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Drugs And Incarceration

The Daily Record discusses a new report published by the Justice Policy Institute entitled “Tipping Point: Maryland’s Overuse of Incarceration and the Impact on Public Safety." The report praises the Maryland legislature for passing SB 194, the so called 2004 "treatment not jail" legislation but faults the state for not going far enough to reduce what it sees as excess levels of incarceration. SB 194, which became law in October '04, permits, in certain instances, non-violent drug offenders to be committed to a drug treatment program rather than to prison.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Maryland Landlord Tenant Resources

The Maryland District Court publishes a brochure on Landlord Tenant Issues. The Maryland Attorney General also puts out a brochure entitled "Landlords and Tenants: Tips On Avoiding Disputes." For more resources, check out the Maryland State Law Library's Reference Guide on this topic. Also see the websites listed on the bottom half of this page.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Maryland Personal Information Protection Act

In light of the Choicepoint debacle, a number of states have moved to more strictly regulate how data brokers secure and disclose personal information. A bill to this effect was recently introduced in Maryland, HB 1588, The Personal Information Protection Act. The bill is largely modeled off of a law in California, the only state in the nation currently with such a statute in place.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Tracking Maryland Developments

If you're looking for a resource to track Maryland political developments, you may want to check out's Maryland page., an independent element of the Pew Research Center, is a resource for those interested in monitoring developments in state government.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Baltimore County Renaissance Areas Initiative

The Sun reported yesterday that two more areas in Baltimore County have been designated as "Renaissance Opportunity Areas." The designation gives incentives to developers who choose to develop in designated "renaissance" areas by offering them a streamlined development plan. Take a look at the Final Report published by the Baltimore County Planning Board.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Overview of Maryland's Economy

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issues state economic profiles for all 50 states. The Maryland State Profile was issued in Winter 2004. The page provides graphs on employment growth, bankruptcy filings, and home price growth and provides a "Maryland At A Glance" list of economic indicators.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Philanthropy In Maryland

The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers publishes this report entitled "The State of Foundation Giving In Maryland 2004." Also check out "Giving Connections" which provides "a user-friendly guide for connecting people with philanthropy in our region." If you're a grant seeker check out "Resources for Grantseekers;" if you're looking to donate check out "Resources for Grantmakers."