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O'Malley Signs Chesapeake Bay Protection Bills

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Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, flanked by State Senate President Mike Miller, left, and Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch, signs several bills into law.
Matt Bush
  Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, flanked by State Senate President Mike Miller, left, and Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch, signs several bills into law.

The Maryland legislature is still figuring out when it will pass funding legislation for the coming fiscal year's budget, but a number of the bills that did pass during the regular session were signed into law by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) Wednesday. Among them were several designed to stop pollution into the Chesapeake Bay, such as a limit on septic tanks at future developments and measures to upgrade stormwater treatment.

"It will help us greatly reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that are being pumped into the Bay," O'Malley said at the signing.

Another bill finalized yesterday changes penalties for those caught with small amounts of marijuana. "We created a new offense, 'de minimus possession of marijuana,' or ten grams or less," said  State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D), who sponsored the bill. "We're moving it from a year-long potential penalty to just 90 days."

A third piece of legislation makes Maryland the first state in the country to ban employers from asking workers and prospective employees for the passwords to their social networking pages such as Facebook and Twitter.

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