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New laws and policies are taking effect in the Washington region on Monday, including some on vaping indoors, Metro fares and college legacy admissions. (The Washington Post)

6.28.24 – Washington Post – By Jordan D. BrownMichael Brice-Saddler and Gregory S. Schneider

Liquor delivery, increased prices for transportation, and college admissions changes are among some of the new laws and policies taking effect on Monday in the region.

Here are a few of the laws going into effect.

The region

  • Metro fares increasing by 12.5 percent. After months of concern related toMetro’s financial challenges, the transit agency’s board recently passed a budget that maintains service levels but raise fares by 12.5 percent, which started Sunday. The maximum rail fare increased from $6 to $6.75. Base rail and base bus fares increased from $2 to $2.25. Late-night and weekend charges increased from a flat $2 charge to $2.25 or $2.50, depending on trip distance. Maximum fees for MetroAccess — the paratransit service for people who cannot use bus and rail systems — increased from $4 to $4.50.


  • Liquor delivery. The delivery of beer, wine or liquor to Maryland consumers launches with new direct-to-consumer alcoholic beverages delivery permits. Individuals must meet certain requirements to qualify for a delivery permit. There will be a maximum amount of alcoholic beverage deliveries that a recipient may get each year.
  • Ban on legacy admissions. Maryland universities that receive state funds will not be able to consider whether an applicant’s family member either attended or donated to the institution as a criterion for admission. As of Monday, institutions will be allowed to ask applicants about whether they’re related to alumni for data collection purposes.
  • Correctional ombudsman role created. The state will establish an office for a correctional ombudsman to conduct investigations, reviews and assessments of administrative acts taken by the department of public safety and correctional services, the department of juvenile services, or in relation to individuals confined by either department. The ombudsman will serve as a mediator insituations of misconduct or alleged prison abuses. The Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board will recommend a distribution of money from the performance incentive grant fund to finance this new office.
  • Indoor vaping ban. Vaping will now be prohibited in certain indoor areas, places of employment and certain mass transportation.
  • Alterations to previous bill on compensation for erroneously convicted individuals. This bill adjusts the benefits a person who was incorrectly convicted of a crime is entitled to. The state is required to notify the person in writing when the state plans to reduce or prevent compensation.
  • Stop sign monitoring systems in Prince George’s County. Prince George’s County will be authorized to place automated enforcement systems, such as stop sign cameras, in school zones. Owners or drivers of a motor vehicle that are recorded failing to stop at a stop sign will besubject to a citation and further civil penalties under certain circumstances.
  • Noise abatement monitoring systems in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Both counties are establishing a pilot programto use noise abatement monitoring systems to enforce motor vehicle noise requirements. This will require counties to publish the systems’ locations on its website before activating a monitoring system.
  • New fees, taxes and fines. These fees came about as a result of the General Assembly’s latest budget that raises approximately $340 million and increases fundingfor the state’s shock trauma system. Drivers who register a vehicle in Maryland will pay a $23 surcharge each year when their registration is due. The fine for drivers who speed in work zones is increasing from the current $40, to a range of $60 to $500 depending on howmuch the driver went above the speed limit. The sales tax on a pack of cigarettes will increase by $1.25, to $5, and the sales tax on electronic cigarettes and vapes will rise from 12 percent to 20 percent.


  • Minimum wage increase. The minimum wage will increase from $17 per hour to $17.50 per hour, according to the city’s Department of Employment Services. And thanks to a ballot initiative passed by District voters in 2022, the base minimum wage for tipped workers will also increase, from $8 to $10 per hour. If an employee’s hourly tip earnings added to the base minimum wage do not equal the city’s full minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference. Under Initiative 82, the tipped minimum wage will be phased out gradually by 2027 and replaced with one universal minimum wage. Initiative 82 will gradually increase D.C.’s tipped minimum wage until it aligns with the city’s standard minimum wage.
  • Pay rates on job listings. OnSunday, a law went into effect requiring employers in the city to disclose pay rates and salary ranges in job listings. This law will prohibit District employers from screening prospective employees by their wage history. Similarly, the law bars employers from probing the wage history of prospective employees. Employers are also required to disclose whether a job offers health-care benefits before an applicant’s first interview.
  • Increase to tax for paid family leave fund. Under the D.C. Council’s recently passed budget, businesses that contribute to the city’s paid family leave fund will be taxed at a higher rate startingMonday, increasing from 0.26 percent to 0.75 percent. This quarterly payroll tax will be collected under the new rate beginning in October.


  • Gun control, possession regulations. The Democratic-controlled General Assembly passed a host of gun-control bills this year, knowing that Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin was likely to veto most of them. However, Youngkin signed two sets of those bills into law, and both go into effectMonday. One pair of identical bills bans the manufacture, sale and possession of devices called auto sears, which make semiautomatic weapons fire continuously like a fully automatic machine gun. The other pair of bills make it a felony for a parent or guardian to enable a child to get possession of a firearm if the adult knows that the child has been deemed a threat or has been charged with a violent crime.
  • Protection of menstrual data. Authorities will be prohibited from issuing search warrants, subpoenas or court orders to obtain menstrual health data, including electronic data stored on digital devices. Such searches have been used in other states to control access to abortions.
  • Legacy admissions. Like the state of Maryland, public colleges and universities in Virginia will be prohibited from giving preferential admissions treatment on the basis of whether a student’s family member attended the institution or is a donor.
  • Marriage age requirement raised to 18. A person will have to be at least 18 years of age to get married; previously, someone at least 16 could marry if they won emancipation from their parents. Another new law mandates that no one can be denied a marriage license on the basis of sex, gender or race, and requires that the state recognize all lawful marriages. The law gives religious organizations or clergy members the right to refuse to perform any marriage.
  • Employees on cannabis oil lawfully cannot face discrimination. Employers now must not discriminate against an employee if they lawfully use medical cannabis oil. The law also applies to employees of the state and other public bodies, except for law enforcement officers.
  • Ombudsman created in prisons. The state will create an ombudsman for the department of corrections that will be selected by the state inspector general. The ombudsman will take complaints, raise issues about conditions in the state’s corrections system and report to a new corrections oversight committee made up of four lawmakers and nine citizens appointed by the governor.
  • Definition of hate crimes expanded. Virginia’s definition of hate crimes is expanded to include discrimination in employment or accommodation on the basis of ethnic origin, as well as assault, trespass or property damage directed at someone’s ethnic origin. The change is intended, in part, to combat antisemitism.

By Jordan Brown Jordan D. Brown reports for the Washington Post’s local desk. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at New York University. In 2023, she graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in multimedia journalism.  Twitter

By Michael Brice-Saddler Michael Brice-Saddler covers D.C. government and politics for The Washington Post’s Metro desk. He joined The Post in June 2018 as a crime reporting intern after graduating from the University of Maryland. Before moving to local politics, he covered national and breaking news on the general assignment desk.  Twitter

By Gregory S. Schneider Greg Schneider covers Virginia from the Richmond bureau. He was The Washington Post’s business editor for more than seven years, and before that served stints as deputy business editor, national security editor and technology editor. He has also covered aviation security, the auto industry and the defense industry for The Post. Twitter