Gov. Larry Hogan’s latest lambasting of the legislature over delays in passing his crime bills has left at least one legislative leader feeling a little left out.
House Speaker Adrienne Jones, D-Baltimore County, said she too is concerned with violent crime in the city and around the state.
“One third of murder victims in Baltimore in 2019 were under state supervision,” Jones said in a statement Thursday. “Twenty seven percent of murder suspects were under this administration’s supervision. Yet, he has cut staffing at Juvenile Services, Parole & Probation and Correctional Services over the past seven years. What are the governor’s plans to inject some urgency in staffing his own departments that can help curb some of this violence?”
Hogan took aim at lawmakers and Sen. Will Smith, D-Montgomery, in particular. Hogan said Smith should step aside as chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee if he has no intention of passing the governor’s crime bills.
Smith admits Hogan’s bills are “in the proverbial drawer” — legislative parlance for in critical condition with a do not resuscitate order if not actually dead.
Hogan made no mention of the House of Delegates.
“Crime is an urgent concern of this legislature,” said Jones. “I met with Mayor Young and House leadership to lend our support to his efforts last summer – and took the input of county executives and legislators from around the state in crafting the legislature’s leadership package of bills this year. We cannot just add more criminal laws on the books if the ones we have aren’t being used effectively. We cannot arrest our way out of this problem.”
“I have not met with the governor once since the legislative session began,” Jones said in her statement. “If he has an urgent concern about his bills, I invite him to pick up the phone or talk to me directly.”