Maryland Gov. Announces $500M to ‘Re-Fund' Police, Urges Passage of Crime Bills

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Gov. Larry Hogan called crime in Maryland a “crisis” and announced a plan Monday to spend half-a-billion dollars on officer salaries and initiatives.

Hogan said a three-year expansion of his Re-Fund The Police Initiative includes the following:

• $220 million for officer salary increases and bonuses
• $137 million for a 50% increase in state police aid to local jurisdictions statewide
• $50 million for major capital improvements for Maryland State Police.
• $37 million for victim services providers

“Even in the most progressive cities all across the country, leaders are now following our lead and admitting that instead of defunding, they need more investment in public safety,” Hogan said in a news conference in Annapolis.

Hogan also reintroduced two crime bills that have repeatedly failed to go pass the General Assembly: the Violent Offender Act, which would toughen penalties for using and illegally possessing firearms, as well as for offenders who supply guns to criminals, and the Judicial Transparency Act, which would require judges' sentences for violent crimes to be tracked and published.

"Today, I am again strongly urging the leaders of the city and in the legislature to put all the politics aside and to work with us to finally pass these emergency crime bills," Hogan said. "There can be no more excuses and no more delays. The time for action is now. Keeping Marylanders safe is our number-one priority."

In his remarks Monday, Hogan mentioned crime issues in Prince George's County and Baltimore city.

"Prince George’s County is much larger than Baltimore city and it’s a pretty dense population and they've got crime issues that they're dealing with - rising crime as well. And I think the police do a great job, but they need all the help they can get,
which is why we're providing additional resources to the Prince George's County police," he said.

Maryland state Sen. Will Smith, chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, said to News4 in a statement he would not allow a bill out of committee that includes mandatory minimum sentences, but said the Senate is eager to work with the governor to address violent crime and invest in undeserved communities.

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