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Md. legislature’s 2014 accomplishments

Key bills in the 2014 Maryland General Assembly session:

Minimum wage increase

Outcome: Agreed to gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by July 2018.

Marijuana decriminalization

Outcome: Agreed to impose civil fines, rather than criminal sanctions, on those caught with less than 10 grams of the drug.

Domestic violence in front of a minor

Outcome: Agreed to allow judges to impose additional sentences on abusers who commit acts of violence in front of a child.

“Jake’s Law”

Outcome: Agreed to stiffen penalties for drivers who cause serious crashes while talking or texting on a cellphone.

Film production tax credit

Outcome: Failed to reach a final agreement to raise funding for tax credits from $7.5 million to $11 million and set aside another $7.5 million in the budget. As a result, $15 million will be available for the program.

Transgender protections

Outcome: Agreed to make it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity in areas of employment, housing and public accomodations.

Alcohol content

Outcome: Agreed to ban alcohol content of 190 proof or more and impose $1,000 fine on violators.

Pre-K expansion

Outcome: Established a grant program as the first step of phasing in “universal” pre-kindergarten.

— John Wagner

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