The Politics Hour - Feb. 21, 2014
The debate over credit card payments for D.C. cabs boils over, as a story surfaces involving the daughter of a D.C. lawmaker. Virginia's high-stakes battle over Medicaid consumes the General Assembly. And new polls indicate Maryland's lieutenant governor is running ahead of the Democratic pack in the race for Annapolis, with many questions lingering before primary day in June. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
Last year, a Maryland court ruled that indigent defendants have the right to a public defender at their initial bail hearing. State administrators, including State's Attorney John McCarthy, have asked the court to throw out the ruling. "I did not favor this decision," said McCarthy, calling it "wrong headed." McCarthy said the ruling will cost half a billion dollars since it now affords a defendant the right to go before a judge with an attorney twice, rather than once, within the first 24 hours of arrest. He said he agrees with the governor's proposal to instead use risk assessment to determine whether a defendant will be released.