Washington, D.C., May 1, 2020 - Today, Brady, in coordination with the Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition, respectfully urges Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to sign SB 708, which would appropriate $3.6 million in the annual state budget for the Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program (VIPP) Fund to provide grants for community-based violence intervention programs.

Gov. Hogan signed the VIPP into law in 2018 and has until May 7 to sign SB 708. This bill is the next step in his work to reduce gun violence across the state. In light of this diminishing timeframe and in recognition of the necessity for community-based violence intervention and prevention programs in Maryland, Brady urges all Maryland citizens to sign a new petition asking Gov. Hogan to immediately sign this bill.

Brady Vice President of Policy Christian Heyne shared:

“There is a pressing need for violence prevention programs across Maryland. Program volunteers and staff are trusted community members who spread messages of anti-violence messages, provide support and help to their neighbors and break cycles of violence in ways that strengthen the communities they work in. Local violence intervention programs have a proven record of addressing root causes of violence and even in these times are helping to share information about coronavirus, encouraging social distancing and ensuring that individuals have access to protective materials and resources in their community. The strength and importance of these programs is on full display during this pandemic, further evidence that funding VIPP is in the best interest of all Marylanders. These are evidence-based programs that make our communities safer. We urge Gov. Hogan to sign this bill.”

The Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program (VIPP) Fund is jointly administered by the Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Advisory Council and the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. The fund supports violence reduction programs through evidence-based initiatives. These initiatives and programs approach violence reduction from a public health perspective, working to reduce violence, specifically gun violence, through measurable tactics. SB 708 would require the Governor to include $3.6 million in the annual State budget to be used solely to provide grants to Maryland violence intervention programs at the community and hospital level. These funds directly support evidence-based programs and initiatives that break the cycle of violence in our communities.

Mindy Landeau and Lauren Kline, co-founders of Brady Maryland State Executive Committee, shared

“There are few solutions as clearly effective as community-based violence intervention. Programs and initiatives that work with underserved populations to help resolve conflict and prevent violence preserve resources and make our communities safer. These evidence-based programs are a foundational pillar of violence prevention and reduction. Governor Hogan can help ensure that Maryland continues to invest in this needed, evidence-based approach to violence reduction. It’s why the State Legislature passed SB 708. We respectfully urge the governor to sign this bill as soon as possible.”

The Maryland Violence Prevention Coalition is made up of organizations with a joint mission of reducing violence and improving living conditions in underserved Maryland communities.

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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