ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Gov. Larry Hogan signed six bills submitted by the Maryland Department of Agriculture during a signing ceremony at the State House. These new laws aim to strengthen the department’s ability to monitor for infectious animal diseases and streamlines other department programs including Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.
Summary of bills signed:
- HB 50 – Maryland Produce Safety Program
Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct inspections and compliance/enforcement activities related to the FDA’s Produce Safety Rule.
- HB 1353 – Nuisance Insects
Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out a program to control or eliminate nuisance insects across the state in partnership with local jurisdictions.
- SB 25 – Conservation Easements, Covenants, Restrictions and Conditions — Recording Notice
Authorizes MALPF and other state programs to record notice of certain easements, covenants, restrictions, and conditions in the land records of the county in which the property interest is located.
- SB 56 – Regulation of Poultry to Protect Animal Health and Control Avian Influenza
Authorizes Secretary of Agriculture to adopt an annual licensed Animal Health Protection Program that will be applicable to certain live poultry market operators, production facility operators, or poultry dealers for the purpose of protecting animal health and controlling avian influenza.
- SB 57 – County Agricultural Land Preservation Programs
Extends the length of time a county may retain certain revenue from the agricultural land transfer tax for use in certain agricultural land preservation programs.
- SB 58 – MALPF – Elimination of District Agreements
Deletes obsolete references to district agreement within the MALPF program.
Written testimony for all departmental bills and other bills of interest during the 2019 General Assembly is available on the department’s website.
— Maryland Department of Agriculture