Gov. Martin O’Malley signed more than 100 bills into law Tuesday, including a pre-K expansion and a law ending the practice of holding the owners of pit bulls to a different liability standard.
Since 2012, dog bites by pit bulls could bring harsher penalties on landlords, owners and the dogs themselves than bites from other breeds. But with the governor’s signature, that will change.
Senate passes bill that would hold dog owners responsible for bites, but also allow owners to challenge that liability in court.
Witnesses and several lawmakers gave emotional statements during a debate whether the owners of pit bulls should be treated differently under Maryland law.
Gov. Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly approved new gun control laws, repealed the death penalty, and funded a wind energy project during the 2013 legislative session.
A bill meant to ease liability for pit bull dog owners and landlords was criticized by victims’ families, dog advocates, attorneys and legislators Wednesday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
In April, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that owning pit bulls or allowing them on your property is an “inherently dangerous activity.
An increase in gas taxes, a repeal of the death penalty and a renewed discussion of liability for pit bull owners are some of the issues currently on the table for Maryland’s 2013 legislative session.