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State Legislative Affairs Update
By Scott Ehlers
SLN News columns.
Crime Lab Oversight
Maryland: Governor Signs Groundbreaking Crime Lab Regulation Law
Maryland is on the cutting edge of crime lab oversight after Gov. Martin O’Malley signed SB 351 on April 24. The bill requires crime labs to be regulated by the same agency that regulates health care facilities and clinical labs in the state. The legislation requires state and local crime labs to be licensed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and directs the department to develop regulations for forensic laboratories, qualifications for lab employees, and proficiency testing programs. The secretary of the department will be able to suspend or revoke licenses, and regulators will be allowed to conduct unannounced inspections and take corrective actions to fix or shut down labs. The bill also establishes whistleblower protections for lab employees who witness misconduct or violations of regulations.
The secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will be advised on the regulations b
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