Maryland Governor Wes Moore presided over the Moore-Miller Administration’s fourth bill signing on Monday, dedicating the day to protecting the rights of all Marylanders. The governor signed historic legislation that solidifies protections for reproductive rights, protects the rights of transgender Marylanders, and establishes an adult-use cannabis market.
“Today, we further strengthened our leave no one behind vision by protecting individual freedoms, solidifying reproductive rights, expanding access to healthcare, and creating an adult-use cannabis market that directly benefits those that were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs,” said Gov. Moore.
Among the pieces of legislation signed by the governor is the Declaration of Rights – Right to Reproductive Freedom, which establishes that every person has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom as a central component of an individual’s rights to liberty and equality. The Reproductive Health Protection Act prohibits a judge from requiring a person to give certain testimony or a statement or to produce evidence in another state for a case involving an alleged violation of the criminal law of the other state relating to legally protected healthcare. Health – Reproductive Health Services – Protected Information and Insurance Requirements regulates the disclosure of certain information related to legally protected healthcare.
Additionally, the Trans Health Equity Act requires the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide gender-affirming treatment in a non-discriminatory manner. At the same time, the Cannabis Reform legislation establishes a regulatory and licensing system for adult-use cannabis. It imposes a 9% tax on the sale and use of adult-use cannabis. It requires the Administration to convert medical cannabis licenses to licenses to operate a medical and adult-use cannabis business.
“Here in Maryland, we are committed to righting the wrongs of the past and protecting the rights of all Marylanders in the future. As long as I am governor, I will fight with everything I’ve got to ensure we’re creating a safe, equitable, and prosperous home for every Marylander,” added Moore.
The lieutenant governor, Boyd K. Rutherford, praised the governor’s actions, saying, “The legislation signed today by Governor Moore will protect the health, wellbeing, and rights of all Marylanders. While other states are dead set on ripping away reproductive rights and attempting to erase the existence of trans and nonbinary individuals, we’re doing the opposite: We’re making Maryland a welcoming, inclusive state that safeguards the rights of all people.”
The move is the latest in a series of efforts by Maryland to become more inclusive and equitable. The state recently passed a sweeping police reform package and became the first state to repeal its Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. In 2019, Maryland was the first state to establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for Marylanders.
The new legislation solidifies Maryland’s position as a progressive state committed to protecting all its residents’ rights. As Governor Moore noted, “We are committed to creating a Maryland where everyone can live, work, and thrive without fear of discrimination, without fear of persecution, and without fear of not having access to the care they need.”
To view the complete list of bills signed into law, visit the governor’s website.