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Hogan Says Police Reform Bills Have 'Poison Pills'

Steve Ruark
AP Photo
Gov. Larry Hogan talks with reporters.

Gov. Larry Hogan has not said whether he will veto landmark police reform legislation passed Wednesday or whether he will allow the bills to become law. However, he had sharp criticism for the bills Thursday morning.

During an interview with WBAL’s C4, Hogan said the bills were “slapped together in about a day or so.”

“They basically put some poison pills in each of the bills, combined them all together with some of the worst possible stuff, along with some positive reforms,” Hogan said. “And we're just going to have to take a careful look at each one.”

Hogan also criticized the legislature’s approach to crime — particularly, the House of Delegates for not yet acting on his bill establishing mandatory minimum sentences for certain violent crimes.

“Instead, they're focused on, you know, a bunch of things that are going to make it harder for police to do their jobs and make it easier for violent criminals to continue committing crimes,” the governor said. “It's crazy.”

The governor specifically pointed to a bill eliminating life sentences without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders.

“In the most heinous violent crimes where teenagers are being charged as adults because they've committed brutal murders, the legislature is trying to make it easier to release all of those folks, rather than trying to actually stop people from committing the crimes,” Hogan said.

Hogan announced Thursday evening that he had vetoed the bill.

In a statement, Senate President Bill Ferguson said he is “confident” the legislature will override the veto before adjourning for the year on Monday.

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom. @RachelBaye
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