Maryland can claim a first on Saturday, when it stands ready to pay Planned Parenthood clinics for their services if Congress defunds the organization.
Next door in Virginia, the day will bring good news for ticket scalpers and people with unpaid court fines, but bad tidings for university boards that want to jack up tuition while no one is looking.
A slew of new laws are coming to both states, some consequential, some quirky, all united by their July 1 effective date.
Among them is Maryland’s first-in-the-nation offer to repay Planned Parenthood clinics for health-care services, including cancer screenings and family planning, if the federal government no longer funds them. The law takes effect as Congress debates a health-care bill that would slash Medicaid funding for the organization.
Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), the lead sponsor of the Maryland law, said it will ensure that Planned Parenthood “remains open and viable. . . . They are so important to the health care of so many women, especially poor young women of color.”
The state estimates that reimbursement could cost about $2 million a year.
Other new Maryland laws will address the opioid epidemic, the school-to-prison pipeline and the state transit system.
Local school districts will be required to teach students, beginning in third grade, about the dangers of heroin and opioid addiction as part of their drug prevention programs. Schools will also be required to stock naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug, and have staff trained to administer it.
According to state data, drug- and alcohol-related overdoses killed 2,089 Marylanders in 2016, an increase of 66 percent from 2015. Earlier this year, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued a state of emergency to address the opioid crisis.
Another new Maryland law prohibits school districts from suspending and expelling 4-year-olds and limits the expulsion and suspension of students in kindergarten through second grade.
According to state figures, more than 2,200 students in that age group were suspended or expelled last year, many because they were disruptive or disrespectful.
Maryland is also repealing a state requirement that bus and rail systems cover at least 35 percent of their operating costs through ticket revenue.
New court rules that overhaul the state’s bail policies also become effective Saturday.
Hoping to reduce the number of poor people stuck in jail until their trials, the state Court of Appeals in February changed its rules on issuing bail. Judges will be required to consider a person’s ability to make bail when deciding on conditions for pretrial release.
In Virginia, Saturday marks a new sort of Independence Day — independence from Ticketmaster, which will lose its grip on the resale market.
The company will no longer have the right to block ticket holders from reselling tickets. The aim is not to help scalpers, though it likely will, but people like Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax), a self-described “metalhead” who had Iron Maiden tickets he bought on Ticketmaster and couldn’t use, and found out he could not resell them or even give them away.
State-funded colleges and universities planning to increase tuition will not be able to do so in the dark under a law meant to boost transparency in higher education. Proposed by Sen. J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen (D-Fairfax City), the measure requires university governing boards to provide 30 days’ notice to students and the public before boosting undergraduate tuition or mandatory fees. The notice must include a projected range for the increase, a rationale for it, and the date and location for the vote.
As in Maryland, the opioid crisis has inspired new laws in Virginia, including those that ease the distribution of naloxone.
A law sponsored by Sen. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) outlaws female genital mutilation of minors. Those who perform the procedure could face misdemeanor charges. So would parents who consent to having their daughters undergo it.
Homicides that claim young victims — such as 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen of Reston, who was killed recently as she was returning to her Sterling mosque — will be handled differently under a new law. If the victim is a minor, law-enforcement agencies will be prohibited from releasing the name or other identifying information without the written consent of next of kin.
Criminal defendants will get a little more time to pay overdue court fines and restitution under a law backed by Del. G. Manoli Loupassi (R-Richmond) and Sen. William M. Stanley Jr. (R-Franklin). If defendants are unable to pay, judges must offer them an installment option.
Under another new law, victims of “revenge porn” could get revenge of their own in civil court. It is already illegal under Virginia law to share explicit images of another person without their consent, but there was no avenue for victims to sue for damages or emotional distress, said Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton (D-Loudoun), who sponsored the legislation. The new law allows them to sue.
Antonio Olivo contributed to this report.