Del. Alice Cain is a freshman legislator and one of eight Democrats to take over a seat previously held by a Republican. “I’m pinching myself. I’m so inspired, getting to know the other freshmen delegates. There’s a real spirit of public service.”
Speaker Busch announces that House will begin live-streaming floor sessions in 2020; lawmakers hope to restore prescription drug program for retired state workers; ex-U.S. Rep. McMillan urges lawmakers to avoid corruption of college sports, should sports betting be legalized; legislators working on clean energy bills concerned that Gov. Hogan is slow-walking study on Renewable Portfolio Standards; Judiciary opposing partial expungement bill; Michael Bloomberg urges state to allow JHU police to carry guns; BPW to vote on contract for Tubman, Douglass statues; local officials to call for end to federal government shutdown; pro-business group says Montgomery County growth sluggish, high taxes are making it less attractive for private investment; and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris to open campaign office in Baltimore, but where?
I spent three hours off-and-on last Thursday watching the live gavel-to-gavel coverage on C-Span of the new U.S. House of Representatives being sworn in, including the return to power of that Baltimore girl turned San Francisco maven, Speaker Nancy D’Allesandro Pelosi. Wednesday the new Maryland General Assembly is being sworn in and we can watch the live gavel-to-gavel of the proceedings NOWHERE.
Poll: Hogan rides high, Trump in the dumps, middling support for sports betting, more for legalizing marijuana
Gov. Larry Hogan enters his new term with universal high approval from every sector of Maryland — blacks, whites, Republicans, Democrats, men, women, rural and suburban — according to the latest Gonzales Maryland Poll. All groups approve by 70% or more. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, continues to have high disapproval from almost two-thirds of Maryland voters. Half of them favor beginning impeachment proceedings.
The public will have the opportunity to help redraw the contorted lines of Maryland’s gerrymandered 6th Congressional District, the Governor’s Emergency Redistricting Commission announced at its organizational meeting Friday in Annapolis, just hours before the Supreme Court agreed to consider the case from Maryland. The Supreme Court’s decision to review an appeals court’s order to redraw the lines of the 6th CD because it is unconstitutional could make the work of the governor’s commission irrelevant if the high court decides to reverse the lower court order. But the commission plans to press ahead with hearings and redrawing the lines of the 6th and adjacent districts.
Defendants who reject plea bargains and are convicted when they choose to go to trial for many types of crimes face longer sentences – sometimes substantially longer – than defendants who make a deal, a Capital News Service analysis shows.
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.
More defendants are being held without bail, according to data from the Maryland Judiciary, because the number of defendants held without bail has increased — despite bail reform that intended to let more people remain free before trial.
Maryland’s pioneering law to restrict the sale and use of insecticides implicated in honeybee die-offs had a bumpy debut this year. Spot checks of home and garden, hardware and other stores around the state found some of them still stocking bug-killing products that should have been removed from retail shelves.
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.
The Trump administration announced plans Dec. 11 to severely restrict the types of streams, wetlands and other waterways that would be protected by federal regulation from development or disturbance. Though welcomed by farmers and developers, the announcement drew intense criticism from environmentalists.