On May 13, 2015, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law SB 0370, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development, Regulation and Privacy Act of 2015. The new law establishes the state government as holding the exclusive authority to regulate the testing or operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the State of Maryland, preempting the authority of counties and municipalities. The law also requires the Department of Business and Economic Development, along with other specified agencies and institutions, to undertake a study of the benefits and concerns of UAS, and requires State and local government entities to review the use of UAS and issue a report to the Governor and General Assembly by December 31, 2018. The bill, which takes effect on July 1, 2015, passed with wide bipartisan support in the Maryland Legislature, receiving unanimous support in the Senate and only a single dissenter in the House of Delegates.
On May 14, 2015, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law SB 766, the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act. The law prohibits private individuals or the state government from using a drone to record without consent an image of private property or people on private property with the intent to conduct surveillance. Existing exceptions for law enforcement activity were expanded to include activities by property appraisers, utilities, aerial mappers, cargo delivery systems, and business activities licensed by the state. The law authorizes “aggrieved parties” to initiate a civil action and obtain compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief for a violation of the law. SB 766 takes effect on July 1, 2015.