For Immediate Release:
May 11, 2015

Erin Montgomery
Shareese Churchill

Governor Hogan To Sign Public Safety, Law Enforcement, Community Relations, And Employment Opportunity Bills

Bills To Become Law At Next Signing Ceremony

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that he will sign into law 12 bills related to public safety, law enforcement policy, community relations, and job growth. He will sign the bills into law during the next bill signing ceremony, to be held tomorrow, May 12, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Some of the bills, listed below, were previously scheduled to be signed on April 28.

“These bills directly address public safety and community relations issues, including the day-to-day operations of our law enforcement officials,” said Governor Hogan. “We are also taking action to deliver smart options to reduce recidivism and help ex-offenders transition back into society and be productive members of their community.”

The bills include:

SB 321: The Baltimore City and Baltimore County – Police Behavioral Health Units – Pilot Program, which would require the Baltimore City Police Department and the Baltimore County Police to each establish a behavioral unit of at least six officers who are specially trained to understand the needs of individuals with mental health or substance abuse disorders.

SB 482 / HB 533: The Public Safety – Law Enforcement Officers – Body-Worn Digital Recording Device and Electronic Control Device, emergency bills that would make it lawful for a law enforcement officer to intercept an oral communication with a “body-worn digital recording device” or an “electronic control device.” These bills would also establish the Commission Regarding the Implementation and Use of Body Cameras by Law Enforcement Officers to study and make recommendations to the Police Training Commission and the General Assembly.

SB 882: Baltimore City Civilian Review Board, which would alter the definition of “law enforcement unit” as it relates to the Baltimore City Civilian Review Board so as to increase the number of law enforcement units that are subject to review by the Board.

HB 954: Public Safety – Deaths Involving a Law Enforcement Officer – Reports, which would require law enforcement agencies to provide the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention with information about deaths of individuals in police custody, as well as deaths of officers occurring in the line of duty.

SB 413: Vehicle Laws – Race-Based Traffic Stops – Policy and Reporting Requirements, which would require law enforcement officers to record demographic information, including race, pertaining to traffic stops.

HB 771: Baltimore Police Department – Reporting on Community Policing, which would require that a report be submitted annually to the Baltimore City legislative delegation, Baltimore City Mayor, and City Council with information on the diversity of the police force, as well as encounters with officers, including those resulting in civilian injuries, and number of officers suspended.

HB 244: Maryland Second Chance Act of 2015, which would authorize individuals who have a non-violent, misdemeanor criminal record to petition the court to shield court records and police records after a period of three years under certain circumstances and conditions.

HB 304: Criminal Procedure – Expungement of Records, whereby arrests and charges that did not result in a conviction may remain eligible for expungement, regardless of subsequent convictions.

SB 582: Pilot Program for Small Business Development by Ex-Offenders, which would establish a pilot program to encourage individuals exiting the correctional system to establish small businesses.

HB 113: Increasing Limits on Local Government Tort Claims Act, which increases the liability limits for a civil claim against a local government to $400,000. This cap was last raised 28 years ago in 1987.

HB 114: Increasing Limits on State Government Tort Claims Act, which increases the liability limits for a civil claim against state government to $800,000. This cap was last raised 16 years ago in 1999.