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New Md. laws take effect Friday

June 30, 2011

Dozens of new laws take effect in Maryland Friday. Here are some of them:

° Home-care collective bargaining — Collective-bargaining rights will be established for specified independent home care providers.

° Doggy dining — Dogs will be able to accompany their owners at restaurants with outdoor dining, if the restaurant owner allows it and provides written notice to the local health department.

° Electic vehicles-tax credit — A state income tax credit for 20 percent of the cost of qualified electric vehicle-recharging equipment becomes available for tax years 2011, 2012 and 2013.

° Invest Maryland — Gov. Martin O’Malley’s venture capital fund will allow the state to try to build a pool of at least $70 million to reinvest in high-tech ventures by selling tax credits at reduced rates.

° Film-tax credit — A $7.5 million tax credit for producing films in Maryland takes effect.

° Juvenile justice — The state Department of Juvenile Services will be required to submit a report to the General Assembly by Dec. 1 to create a plan to provide equitable resources for girls.

° Pensions — The amount of money state employees will pay for retirement will rise from 5 percent to 7 percent. State employees hired after July 1 will be vested in the retirement plan after 10 years, instead of five years.

° Sports-concessions — The Maryland State Department of Education will develop policies to implement a program to raise awareness about the risk of concussions and head injuries in youth sports.

° Wine shipping — Wineries will be able to ship directly to Maryland residents, if they have applied for a permit.

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