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Governor Moore signs the PORT Act and five bills as part of the Moore-Miller Administration's legislative agenda aimed at making Maryland the state that serves – Press Releases – News

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ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Wes Moore today led the first bill signing ceremony of 2024, signing the Maryland Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade (PORT) Act into law. Bipartisan legislation supports businesses and workers affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. The bill creates a new, permanent scholarship program for the families of transportation workers who die on the job and will allow more flexibility in job search requirements for unemployment insurance.

“Two weeks ago, a piece of the Baltimore skyline and Baltimore spirit collapsed into the river. But Marylanders have come together.” said Governor Moore. “When tragedy struck our state, we came together to support the victims of the Key Bridge collapse. Together we are proving what it means to be Maryland Tough and Baltimore Strong.”

Invoice signing

The governor also signed five bills included in the Moore-Miller administration's legislative agenda, all aimed at making Maryland the state that serves him. These bills will support highway workers in Maryland, expand employment opportunities for military families in Maryland, expand workers' compensation for firefighters, and protect poll workers.

“We said we would focus on four key priorities this year: making Maryland safer, making Maryland more affordable, making Maryland more competitive and continuing to make Maryland the state that serves us. Ninety days later, we have made real progress on each of these goals,” said Governor Moore. “Today we came together to celebrate bills that will improve service in our state. By working with the Maryland General Assembly, we are making Maryland the best place in the world to change the world.”

For the second year in a row, the Moore-Miller administration's entire legislative package passed with bipartisan support. The 16 bills passed will support the Governor's priorities of making Maryland safer, making Maryland more affordable, making Maryland more competitive, and continuing to make Maryland a delivering state.

“This session we demonstrated once again that our government will work in partnership to make progress within the state.” said Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller. “Today I am proud to witness the signing of two bills that I have championed since day one, the Road Worker Protection Act and the Families Serve Act – both of which support the men and women who serve our state and our country serving, from military members and their loved ones to those who build and maintain our roads.”

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Major legislation signed by Governor Moore today includes:

The Maryland Road Worker Protection Actimplements the legislative recommendations of the Governor's Work Zone Safety Work Group to protect Maryland highway workers and initiate a culture change among motorists to adopt safer driving behaviors.

The Election Officials Protection Act, addresses the epidemic of threats and harassment against election officials that pose a fundamental threat to Maryland's ability to conduct free and fair elections. The law introduces a new misdemeanor charge in the election law article for making threats against election officials or their families.

The Act on the Care of Public Employees in Security Professions (CAPES).Expands firefighter compensation rights to include thyroid, colon and ovarian cancer.

The Family Service Act, supports military families in Maryland by expanding employment opportunities for military spouses. The law requires spouses of members of a branch of the uniformed service to receive 10 credits on competitive examinations when applying for government jobs and authorizes private employers to grant hiring and promotion preferences to the spouse of a full-time active-duty service member every branch of the uniformed services.

The Time to Serve Law, increases the length of emergency leave for executive branch employees from 15 to 30 days. In addition, government employees serving in the National Guard and Military Reserves may use up to 30 days of paid leave (up from 15) for training or service.

The full list of bills signed today can be found at: https://governor.maryland.gov/news/Pages/bill-signings.aspx.

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