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Governor Larry Hogan wants crime laws addressed in upcoming special session

Posted: 6:02 PM, Nov 23, 2021
Updated: 2021-11-23 18:02:38-05
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After a stretch of crime across Baltimore City that included a Priest attacked, a woman killed in a churchand the murder of a teenager Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says "enough is enough" so he wants crime laws addressed in the upcoming special session.

"These aren't just stories and statistics these are lives tragically cut snuffed out and families that will never be the same. It is heartbreaking and it is completely unacceptable." Governor Hogan said Tuesday at a news conference.

Governor Hogan will introduce emergency legislation to be submitted in the special session already planned for December 6th.

The Violent Firearms Offender Act will increase sentences for violent offenders who commit crimes with firearms. The legislation would require tougher sentencing for violent offenders, especially those who commit felonies using guns.

The Judicial Transparency Act will also be introduced, which would have the sentencing records for judges, on violent crime cases, published.

The Governor’s press conference today underscores that public safety is a statewide issue and victims deserve real leadership, not just performative politics, from State government.

The Senate remains committed to targeted, thoughtful investments in communities that are most vulnerable – solutions the Governor has repeatedly vetoed.

The Governor can act well-before the Maryland General Assembly reconvenes and he must do so. Marylanders need immediate solutions, like increased coordination between State and local agencies, a strengthened Division of Parole and Probation that anticipates the direct correlation between being a victim of violence and perpetrator of one, and strategies that recognize poverty shapes outcomes.

Unfortunately, we have seen only reactive calls to action from the Governor thus far. There are proactive solutions we can work together on now and we hope the Governor sincerely comes to the table and takes more comprehensive actions going forward.

Senate President Bill Ferguson

In addition to proposed legislation the state is fast-tracking and expanding its $10 million Neighborhood Safety Grants program first announced in October. That program will now include places of worship and other vulnerable communities.

Governor Hogan directing the Office of Crime Prevention Youth and Victim Services to conduct a top to bottom evaluation on the funding provided to theBaltimore City State's Attorneys Office.