Senate Debates Bail Bill, House Wait-And-See

Bail bills hit barrier as reform advocates and bail bondsman clash over whether court rules should stand or legislative changes should be made. The Senate is debating one of the bills (SB 983) on the floor, while the House has not taken action on either set of bills(HB 1390/SB 880  or HB 1215/SB 983).

Advocates who previously supported a bill (HB 1390/SB 880) introduced to codify the new Maryland judiciary rules on the use of money bail, have switched gears and are now advocating that no bills be passed. Inaction by the General Assembly would let the court rule change, which goes into effect July 1, stand. The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus voted last Thursday to take no action on any of the bail reform bills in order to let the court rule stand.

However, bail bondsman stand by their bill (SB 983) which would make changes to the bail process and, if passed, would supersede the court rule before going into effect. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted SB 983 out of committee. It is on the Senate floor and has been subject to vigorous debate.

Prior coverage on Conduit Street:

Sun Weighs in Cautions Against Pro-Bail Legislation

Court of Appeals Unanimously Approves Changes to Bail Rule 

MACo Supports Criminal Pretrial Reform