Maryland courts begin using artificial intelligence in bail decisions

From selecting the stories that pop up in our Facebook feeds to deciding whether we’ll get a loan, artificial intelligence algorithms make countless choices that influence our lives. Now, they’re permeating courtroom judgments. In some jurisdictions, “risk assessment” algorithms help determine sentences for those convicted of crimes. And increasingly, similar algorithms are being used in the beginning stages of the criminal justice process, where they have a hand in deciding where a person will spend their time before trial — at home or in jail.

Legislative leaders shelve new school funding another year

The most expensive and most controversial issue facing the new legislature — increasing the formulas for school funding — has been shelved for another year.
The House speaker and Senate president told the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education in a letter that there was not enough time for the legislature to take up both its policy changes and its funding decisions in the 90-day session that starts in three weeks.

As top vote-getter, Franchot leaves the door wide open for 2022

“You may roll your eyes at this, but as the state tax collector I received more votes for state office than any Marylander in history,” Comptroller Peter Franchot gleefully told a sold-out BWI Business Partnership breakfast Friday morning. “And if you bump into Governor Hogan, could you tell him I happened to get 300,000 more votes than he did.”

Md. lawmakers look to ban untraceable guns in next session

With about a month until the 2019 legislature convenes on Jan. 9, the new Democratic House of Delegates majority leader is looking to continue the progress made last session on gun violence prevention by banning 3D and ghost guns in the state.  House Majority Leader Kathleen Dumais, D-Montgomery, said she will be introducing a bill banning the possession of 3D-printed guns — plastic guns capable of shooting live ammunition and made in a 3D printer — and ghost guns — nearly complete and without serial numbers — in Maryland. Federal law already prohibits the creation of untraceable guns.

Chesapeake debris cleanup presses on, months after storms

A small crew from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is making the Bay safe for boating after a summer of epic rains flushed untold amounts of debris into its waters. As of Sept. 27, DNR crews had removed 140,680 pounds of storm-related debris from navigable waters in the Bay. But the work was far from done.

Not quite a legislative facebook: Printable photos of senators, delegates

The fresh crop of newly elected senators and delegates began two days of orientation at the State House Wednesday. The poster above by the Department of Legislative Services is the first compilation of the 2019 Maryland General Assembly with names, districts and photos. A printable set of photos and districts is at the bottom of the story.