ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday announced the introduction of four bills aimed at combating violent crime in Baltimore and statewide.

The four bills, introduced in both the state House and Senate, are part of a $21 million crime-reduction plan the governor announced last month. That plan also called for adding up to 500 additional law enforcement officers to back up city police officers.


The bills include:

  • (HB 355/SB 272) Judicial Transparency Act, which would publish sentencing records for judges in violent crime cases annually;
  • (HB 356/SB 273) Violent Firearm Offenders Act, which would prohibit district court commissioners from releasing certain defendants charged with some firearm-related crimes before trial and increase sentences for gang members and others who illegally carry guns;
  • (HB 357/SB 271) Witness Intimidation Prevention Act, which would crack down on those who intimidate witnesses through physical injury or death; and
  • (HB 358/SB 268) Victims’ Right to Restitution Act, which would require restitution payments under certain circumstances

The judicial transparency legislation was also introduced last session; it passed in the Senate but didn’t come up for a vote in the House.

Addressing crime has been a top priority for lawmakers at the city and state levels; last year, Baltimore saw 348 homicides, the second-highest total in its history and the highest ever when adjusting for the city’s shrinking population. The city has seen five consecutive years with more than 300 homicides.

Hogan’s latest state budget proposal unveiled last week called for more than $9 million for community policing efforts, $23 million to demolish blighted buildings in crime-ridden neighborhoods and $2.6 million to add more than two dozen new prosecutors and support staff to help the attorney general’s office handle more violent crime cases.

If passed, all four bills would take effect on October 1.

Comments (5)
  1. Angry citizen says:

    If laws were actually enforced and judges didn’t let criminals walk, we wouldn’t need these new laws. This will change nothing because judges suck and Baltimore is a toilet with nothing but corruption from the top down.

    1. Goth says:

      You nailed it !

  2. Blah, blah, blah, more laws that won’t be enforced. Annapolis is justifying their existence.

  3. LINDA G says:

    do away with Time Served. you are sentenced full term – No good behavior serve full sentence if you get 5 years you do 5 years not 18-20 months. Stop letting criminals run the city.

    1. Goth says:

      You are right! They go into jail and before you know it there right back out. Look at the rap sheets of some of these criminals they should not be walking the streets. Baltimore is a prime example of out of control criminals who have more rights than your citizens. Corruption from the top on down.

Leave a Reply