2024 State Legislative Session Takeaways: Maryland

Written by Costa Costidis

Despite considering a session extension to address the budget and other issues, the Maryland Legislature adjourned the 2024 session on April 8. During the session, 2,728 bills were introduced and 1,053 passed both chambers. As of publication, 406 bills have been signed by Governor Wes Moore (D). Governor Moore who until May 28 to address any bill sent to him.

Here’s what you may have missed.

The Budget

Although it appeared more time may be needed to reconcile differences in the budget, legislators came to a compromise just days before the legislature adjourned. The passed version contains approximately $63 billion in appropriations that resemble Moore’s Executive Budget proposal. While the House proposed a package of tax increases to combat an upcoming projected budget shortfall, the Senate refused to adopt many of these. Key appropriations include $90,000,000 for implementation of the Climate Pollution Reduction Plan and $178,000,000 to the Division of Broadband. As part of the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act, the legislature also approved a transportation network company impact fee on passenger trips that originate in Maryland and a tax increase on specified tobacco products to help fund the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future program. The budget currently awaits approval from Governor Moore.


On April 6, the legislature passed the Maryland Online Data Privacy Act of 2024. Maryland is the 17th state to pass a comprehensive data privacy bill since the California Consumer Privacy Act passed six years ago. Maryland’s act follows similar bills passed in Colorado and Connecticut and is among the stricter laws passed in the nation. Notable provisions include a minimization provision on data collectors that limits the type of data that may be collected, a ban on the sale of sensitive data, and a ban on the processing of personal data of a consumer under the age of 18 years old. Thirteen states, including New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, are still considering active comprehensive privacy legislation in 2024. If signed, Maryland’s law would take effect October 1, 2025, but would not impact personal data processing activities until April 1, 2026.

The legislature also passed a bill referred to as the Maryland Age-Appropriate Design Code Act. HB 603/SB 571 requires businesses that provide an online product likely to be accessed by children to prepare a data protection impact assessment for the online product. It establishes data privacy policies intended to limit exposure of children’s data and directs online products to consider the best interests of children when designing and developing such products. Similar legislation was previously passed in California and was introduced in several other states in 2024, including Colorado, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania. If signed by Moore, Maryland’s law would take effect October 1, 2024.

For questions or insight into pending privacy legislation, please contact Alexander Aceto at aga@stateside.com.

Legislative Highlights

On April 8, Governor Moore signed HB 604/SB 478 to allow employers to grant a preference in hiring and promotion to spouses of servicemembers. This bill was one of sixteen that were introduced by the governor and one of four under his administration’s Making Maryland the State that Serves initiative.

Another component of the governor’s pre-session agenda was Making Maryland More Competitive. HB 579 and SB 474 were introduced by the administration as part of this proposal. These bills, referred to as the Critical Infrastructure Streamlining Act of 2024, reduce barriers for the approval of specified critical infrastructure in the state and ensure such infrastructure has access to emergency backup power.

On April 25, Moore signed HB 383/SB 27 to adopt the Cosmetology Licensure Compact to facilitate license reciprocity among member states. Maryland became the fifth state to adopt the compact. A bill in Tennessee has been sent to the Governor Bill Lee’s (R) desk for consideration and five additional states have pending legislation. The compact does not take effect until the seventh state adopts it.

What’s Next

The 2025 session will largely resemble the 2024 session. Governor Moore will begin his third year in office in 2025 and no seats in the General Assembly will be up for election until 2026. An election to watch in November will be a referendum to amend the state constitution to codify the right to reproductive care. The ballot measure, which was placed on the ballot after passage of SB 798 in the 2024 session, is expected to pass. To stay up to date on ballot initiatives in all 50 states, please contact Costa Costidis at cec@stateside.com