Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed more than 180 bills Monday morning, including legislation raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 and Laura and Reid’s Law, which brings harsher punishments to people who commit crimes against pregnant women.
Laura and Reid’s Law (Senate Bill 561) is named after Laura Wallen and her unborn son, Reid, who were murdered in 2017 by Wallen’s boyfriend, Tyler Tessier. Tessier only was charged for the murder of Wallen, as the state’s attorney was unable to charge him for the loss of Reid, who was only 14 weeks in development and not yet viable outside the womb.
An individual who is found to have violated this law will be charged with an additional felony and will be subject to the possibility of a prison sentence up to 10 years on top of the penalties for their other crimes.
“I’m grateful for Gov. Hogan’s support and signature on this critically important legislation that takes a big step in protecting pregnant women,” Sen. Justin Ready said in a press release Monday. “Pregnancy-associated homicide in Maryland is 10 times the national average. This added penalty will give prosecutors stronger tools to go after abusers and protect pregnant victims.”
“There is no more important job than protecting the health and safety of Marylanders,” Hogan said. “The bipartisan measures we are enacting today – to confront the sharp rise in teen vaping and protect pregnant women and unborn children – are important steps in achieving that goal.”
“We cannot fulfill our mission to provide the world’s one billion adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in this country, if youth-use continues unabated,” said Burns. “Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem.”
“We commend Governor Hogan for signing legislation to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21 in Maryland, and would like to recognize the leadership of Delegate Dereck Davis and Senator Delores Kelley in this effort.
We cannot fulfill our mission to provide the world’s one billion adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in this country, if youth-use continues unabated. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem – sharing by legal-age peers – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth-use rates. That is why we are committed to working with lawmakers to enact these effective policies and hope more jurisdictions follow in Maryland’s example.”Watch NBC4 and get the latest news anytime, anywhere. Check here for TV listings.Download the App
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