D.C., Maryland and Virginia all will roll out some new laws on July 1, 2023, although the most attention-grabbing one is certainly Maryland’s legalization of recreational marijuana for adults. Other new laws in the D.C. area involve minimum wage in both the District and in Montgomery County; an expanded move-over law in Virginia, and the end of sales tax holiday weekends there.
Here are some of those new laws, broken down by location.
New law in DC
Minimum wage hike: Minimum wage workers will see a pay increase in the District, regardless of whether they get tips and no matter the size of their employer. All workers will get an hourly wage of $17 on July 1. Tipped workers will see their base wage go up to $8, and if their tips don’t bring their total hourly earnings up to $17 overall, their employer needs to make up the difference. See more here.
New laws in Maryland
Recreational marijuana legal in Maryland: Starting July 1, adults 21 and older can use and possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower, up to 12 grams of concentrated cannabis or a total amount of cannabis products that do not exceed 750 mg of THC. It will also be legal to buy marijuana and cannabis products from licensed dispensaries in the state starting Saturday. Find more info here.
Minimum wage hike in Montgomery County: The county’s minimum wage will increase to $16.70 for people working at large employers (those with 51 employees or more). It will increase to $15 for workers at mid-sized employers, and $14.50 for those working for small employers.
New laws in Virginia
Sales tax holidays end: The annual break Virginia shoppers get from the state’s 5.3% sales tax, typically during the first weekend in August, is expiring July 1. That means no tax-free hurricane preparedness items, clothing and school supplies, Energy Star items or WaterSense items this back-to-school shopping season.
Expanded move-over rules: Drivers already have been required to move over a lane when possible for emergency vehicles, tow trucks and Virginia Department of Transportation workers. Starting July 1, the rules expand to include any vehicle pulled off the main lanes with flashers, flares or any other warning signs displayed. If it’s impossible to move over, drivers should slow down.
New definition for antisemitism: A bill signed in early May goes into effect July 1, and means the state is adopting a definition of antisemitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. That definition will be used for training and education, and for tracking and reporting antisemitism, with the goal of better combatting a rise in hate incidents nationwide and in Virginia.
Defibrillators in schools: School boards will be required to make plans to put automated external defibrillators (AEDs) “in every public elementary and secondary school in the local school division.” This law requires the health department to publish a “list of available public and private programs, grants, or finding sources” to fulfill the law by Aug. 1, 2024.
Concealed carry permits: Virginians can now take safety and training courses with the United States Concealed Carry Association to prove competency for a concealed handgun permit, in addition to the National Rifle Association, local law enforcement and other entities.
Rental damage costing more than a security deposit: Landlords still are required to inform tenants of damages exceeding the cost of their security deposits “within 45 days after the termination date of the tenancy or the date the tenant vacates the dwelling unit, whichever occurs last.” Under the law taking effect July 1, landlords then have 30 days (instead of 15) to provide tenants with an itemized list of the damages and the cost of repairs. The bill is set to expire on June 30, 2024.
Personal items in towed vehicles: Tow and recovery operators can’t refuse a vehicle’s owner to “access and recover any personal items without retrieving the vehicle and without paying any fee” in a law taking effect July 1. Under a separate law, if a vehicle is set to be sold at auction, items must be retrieved from towed vehicles at least two days before the auction date.