Gov. Hogan proposes $150M boost in public safety spending
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan proposed a $150 million boost in public safety spending Friday.
The Republican governor dubbed the plan the “Re-Fund The Police Initiative” and decried “an all-out assault on the entire law enforcement community” at a news conference announcing the plan, The Baltimore Sun reported. The name is a play on the call to defund police, which supporters say aims to address systemic problems in policing and direct spending to other needs, but Hogan called the idea “dangerous far-left lunacy.”
The plan would put $45 million toward local law enforcement and $50 million toward state police agency raises and bonuses. It would also spend $24 million on body cameras and training and $10 million on neighborhood grants for safety improvements like lighting and security cameras. Hogan’s proposal would spend $20 million on victim protection, including $14 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to restore funding for victim services providers after federal cuts.
The proposal also includes $1 million for the state’s police chief and sheriff’s associations. The governor is set to speak at a joint meeting of the two groups Monday.
The General Assembly would need to approve most of the spending Hogan is proposing. Lawmakers have increased law enforcement funding in recent years and parts of the proposal would help agencies comply with policing reforms lawmakers passed this year.
House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat, said in a statement that Hogan was trying to politicize efforts to make law enforcement more transparent and inclusive.
“The House stands ready to have an open and honest conversation about improving policing and reducing crime in the state once there are real ideas — not rhetoric,” Jones said.