The August heat may be as intense as ever, but government and health
officials across the country are preparing for the coming flu season
and the possibility that the H1N1 (swine) flu virus could affect half the US population,
according to a presidential health panel. In Maryland, state
government, public health officials and the state's 46 hospitals have
created a statewide computerized system
for tracking the disease, which will help government and health
officials mobilize a quick response in the event of an outbreak.
Like many states Maryland's largest issue this session was the budget.
However, a number of important issues were debated during the 90-day
session, including a controversial bill to prevent undocumented
residents from obtaining driver's licenses, an attempt to repeal the
state's death penalty, and a bill to crack down on worker
Earlier this month, the Maryland legislature joined a number of
states in cracking down on worker misclassification by enacting the
Maryland Workplace Fraud Act (S 909 / H 819 ) which has the support of Gov. O'Malley
who is expected to sign the bill shortly. The main focus of the bill
was stopping the misclassification of workers as "independent
contractors" used by employers to deny them a minimum wage, overtime
and key workplace benefits.