MOORE SIGNS EXEC ORDER ON ETHICAL USES OF AI, DIGITAL UPGRADES: Gov. Wes Moore (D) signed an executive order calling for the state to develop guardrails to protect residents from the risk of bias and discrimination as artificial intelligence becomes increasingly useful and common, though the order did not specify how the government intends to use AI in the future. Katie Shepherd and Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
- “In our first year, we learned that it isn’t enough to rebuild state government,” said Moore, “we actually need to modernize state government too.” He compared the moves to a “software update” for his iPhone, adding that the Secretary of the Department of Information Technology’s announced steps “will ensure that we integrate AI into the work of state government in a responsible and an equitable way.” Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.
- Moore also announced the creation of the Maryland Digital Service and a state cybersecurity task force. The Maryland Digital Service within the Department of Information and Technology will focus efforts on website and application design. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
- Under the order, a sub cabinet of state agencies will create an action plan, exploring how AI can incrementally and ethically be used in state government operations, including how AI can improve critical sectors of state government, such as workforce development and economic development, and protecting residents and state infrastructure from the risks of AI. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
STATE PUSHES SUPPORT FOR DIGITAL LITERACY: As Maryland continues to create programs to fill gaps in internet access throughout the state, Gov. Wes Moore and local organizations have started to focus on ensuring residents have digital literacy skills, technical support and affordable broadband, especially in areas like Baltimore City. Tony Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.
HOUSE TO FOCUS ON ‘DECENCY AGENDA,’ JONES SAYS: The Maryland House of Delegates will focus on a “decency agenda” in 2024, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) said. Jones said the package of bills will focus on combating hate and prejudice, including against Jewish and Muslim people. “These bills will put safeguards and best practices in place to make sure that intolerance and hate don’t take further root in our state’s institutions and schools,” she said. “We can’t count on the courts to protect us anymore. So, stay tuned.” William Ford/Maryland Matters.
FERGUSON OPTIMISTIC ON BALANCING BUDGET WITH ‘SMALL ADJUSTMENTS:’ Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) expressed cautious optimism for the Senate’s legislative priorities in the upcoming General Assembly session, even in a challenging state budget year. “There are a lot of places to make small adjustments that make a big difference. I feel very confident that we’ll be able to balance” the budget, he said. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
POLITICAL NOTES: DOMINQUEZ SWITCHES RACES; DELANEY RAISES CASH: Juan Dominguez says he moved from the U.S. Senate race to the 3rd District House race because voters told him they were looking for more choices in the primary to replace retiring U.S. Rep. John P. Sarbanes (D). April McLean Delaney, the former U.S. Department of Commerce official who is considered one of the leading Democrats in the race to replace U.S. Rep. David Trone in the 6th District, announced Monday that she raised about $530,000 since entering the race in October. Josh Kurtz and Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
U.S. REP. HOYER TO FILE FOR RE-ELECTION: Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md), a titan of Maryland politics and the former No. 2 leader in the House of Representatives, will seek a 23rd term in Congress. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
MOSBY SEEKS TO STRIP B’MORE MAYOR OF VETO OVER REDISTRICTING: Baltimore’s mayor would be stripped of the power to veto changes to future redistricting plans under a proposed charter amendment introduced by Council President Nick Mosby on Monday. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
- Last fall, Mayor Brandon Scott and City Council President Nick Mosby clashed repeatedly over plans to redraw Baltimore’s legislative lines — a dispute that culminated in November with a last-minute veto by the mayor that deprived council members of any chance to respond. Adam Willis/The Baltimore Banner.
DISPUTE OVER BURIED BLACK CEMETERY GOES TO STATE SUPREMES: A long-running dispute over a historic Black cemetery buried beneath a Bethesda parking lot went before the Maryland Supreme Court on Monday as justices dove into the technical nuance of whether state law could be used to halt the sale of property that includes the burial site. Dan Morse/The Washington Post.
MARYLAND BELOW AVERAGE IN LGBT POPULATION, STUDY FINDS: In Maryland, 5.4% of the population is LGBT, while the national average is 5.6% and in nearby Washington, D.C., which has the highest percentage of LGBTQ adults in the country, it is 14.3%, according to a new report from the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law. (The report uses the acronym LGBT, not LGBTQ.) John John Williams/The Baltimore Banner.
16-YEAR-OLD IS FIRST BALTIMORE HOMICIDE VICTIM OF 2024: The Baltimore City Police Department identified 16-year-old Noah Gibson as the victim of Baltimore’s first homicide in 2024. As of Jan. 8, there have been two homicides in Baltimore, compared to the six that occurred in the same time period last year. In addition to Gibson, 31-year-old Antoine Johnson was killed Thursday. Tony Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.