Christopher Shank

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Two Maryland lawmakers were sworn in as senators to replace their peers who moved on to be part of Gov. Larry Hogan's administration.

Sen. Andrew Serafini, R-Washington, replaces former Sen. Christopher Shank, whom Hogan appointed as the executive director of the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

Sen. Justin Ready, R-Carroll, takes the seat formerly filled by Sen. Joseph Getty, who now serves as chief legislative officer for the Hogan administration.

all free

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Sen. Christopher Shank wants to make sure judges can still order treatment for persistent marijuana users if Maryland decriminalizes the drug.

Shank, R-Washington, introduced an amendment Tuesday to a marijuana decriminalization bill currently under consideration in the Senate. Under Shank's amendment, anyone caught with marijuana three or more times would be required to appear in court, and a judge would be allowed to order treatment. But there still would not be criminal charges for possessing 10 grams or less.

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Sen. Christopher Shank says government agencies can learn a great deal about people by just tracking their movements via their cellphones and license plates. He says Maryland needs stricter privacy protections to keep pace with new surveillance technology.

Shank, R-Washington, presented to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Thursday two bills that would put new surveillance restrictions on the government. Parallel bills are pending in the House.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Police and prosecutor objections to this year's marijuana decriminalization bills apparently aren't getting far with the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee.

In the bills' first hearing on Tuesday, committee members sparred with police chiefs who want to keep the drug illegal. Sen. Christopher Shank advised one chief to find a compromise - to decide what features a bill would need to avoid hindering law enforcement - because the drug war isn't working.