The strength and importance of community-based violence prevention programs has been on full display during this pandemic, confirming that funding the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program is in the best interest of all Marylanders.
Washington, D.C., January 15, 2021 - Today, Brady applauds the Maryland Senate for swiftly overriding Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of SB 708. This bill, passed by both chambers of the General Assembly last year, will appropriate $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.
Following a year marked by unprecedented gun violence across the country and surging gun violence in Maryland, there has never been a clearer or more urgent need for this funding. Brady thanks the Senate for recognizing this and making this veto override one of its first priorities in the new legislative session.
Brady Senior Manager for State Policy Kelsey Rogers shared:
“Members of the Maryland Senate demonstrated strong and prudent leadership today in overriding Gov. Hogan’s ill-considered veto of SB 708. The events of the past year have shown just how shortsighted Gov. Hogan’s actions were. The strength and importance of these programs was on full display during this pandemic, further evidence that funding the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program is in the best interest of all Marylanders. We can safely say that, as all Marylanders and these programs were strained this year, additional funds were desperately needed.
Brady thanks the Senate for rectifying this mistake and addressing the problems that confront all Marylanders. This additional funding will help prevent gun violence and keep all communities across the state safe.”
Gov. Hogan signed the Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program (VIPP) into law in 2018. The 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. Many communities at highest risk of gun violence are also at a high risk for COVID-19. Violence intervention programs seek to address the same structural inequities that leave these communities vulnerable to, and increase the risk of COVID-19 infection and mortality.
About SB 708:
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. Gov. Hogan vetoed SB 708 in May 2020.
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.