In the 2021 Legislative Session that ended this month Maryland passed and made law several pieces of legislation to address police misconduct and to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
HB 670 – Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 – Police Discipline and Law Enforcement Programs and Procedures
House Bill 670 overhauls the police disciplinary process and makes Maryland the first state in the nation to fully repeal the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. It replaces it with a civilian–driven, public–facing approach to police discipline. The bill also requires increased training and assessments for officers.
Fully repealing of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights
Enhancing civilian–driven transparency in police misconduct
Supporting civilian complaints
Imposing swift and uniform penalties for police misconduct
Police agencies can no longer destroy or expunge police misconduct and disciplinary records
SB 494 – Juvenile Restoration Act
Senate Bill 494 ends juvenile life sentences without parole; individuals who were convicted as adults for an offense committed as a minor can be considered for parole after being imprisoned for at least 20 years for the offense.
SB 71 – Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 – Body-Worn Cameras, Employee Programs, and Use of Force
Senate Bill 71 requires for the first time ever that all local and state law enforcement officers to wear body cameras by 2025. The legislation also significantly limits the use of force by law enforcement and allows it when it is necessary and proportional and requires officers to intervene when excessive force is used.
HB 1210 – Corporate Diversity – Board, Executive Leadership, and Mission
Companies should look like the communities they serve, because corporate board decisions impact employees, investment policies and our state’s economy. House Bill 1210 requires Maryland companies to report on the racial diversity of their boards; requires companies to demonstrate racial diversity in board membership, executive leadership OR mission in order to qualify for State capital funding, tax credits or contracts over one million dollars by fiscal year 2023 and requires Commerce and the Governor’s Office of Minority and Small Business Affairs to create a score card to report composition of corporate governance, employees, minority business contracts as well as diversity policies for the 430,000 business entities in the State.
HBCU Settlement Bill
$577 Million over ten years to settle a lawsuit that Maryland was running a segregated higher education system that disadvantaged its four HBCUs – Bowie State, Coppin State, Maryland Eastern Shore and Morgan State.