BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With just two weeks to go in the legislative session, Gov. Larry Hogan said lawmakers still have plenty of work ahead to pass critical bills to address safety in schools and on the streets.
Hogan said he started the session with a robust agenda that included everything from health care to school accountability to even a crime package that would impact Baltimore.
“Unlike the dysfunction, which has become typical in Washington, here in Annapolis, we have chosen a different path,” Hogan said Monday.
He praised lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for getting a number of key bills passed. Hogan said he hopes lawmakers can use that same teamwork to tackle a number of other bills, including two to address crime.
“Last year, there was a staggering 342 homicides in Baltimore City alone. Just since I announced my emergency violent crime legislation in December, Maryland has had another 127 homicides and 225 other shootings,” he said.
Hogan’s proposed crime bill would tackle growing crime, gun violence and tougher sentences for repeat violent offenders.
The bill has passed the Senate but not the House.
“There can be no more excuses, time is running out,” he said.
Hogan also urged lawmakers to find a solution to address school safety.
Just days after the deadly shooting at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, he emphasized that his $125 million emergency school safety plan is needed now more than ever.
“Classrooms should never be a place of fear for our children,” Hogan said.
The plan calls for secured doors, windows, metal detectors and security cameras.
An extra $50 million would provide officers and mental health counselors.
Hogan is encouraged by some progress being made on some bills, and hopes to see many of them on his desk before the April 9 deadline.
The governor also announced that a deal for a balanced budget is expected within the next few days.
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