Committee Budgets $10 Million For Bail Attorneys - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Committee Budgets $10 Million For Bail Attorneys

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The committee fine-tuning Maryland's budget has allocated $10 million to have attorneys staff initial bail hearings during the next fiscal year.
    
Lawmakers are still working on plans to reform Maryland's bail system, but with only two days left before the legislative session ends, the negotiations could fall through. Warren Descheneaux, the General Assembly's top budget analyst, says this $10 million allocation is a backup plan.
    
The Court of Appeals has ruled that the state must provide defense attorneys for poor defendants' initial bail hearings, starting in June.
    
Maryland's public defender agency estimates that this will cost $28 million a year at its standard pay rate, $50 an hour. For $10 million a year, the state could instead pay lawyers roughly $57 per case, though this doesn't account for administrative costs.

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