Originally Published in The Washington Post
Brian Witte - May 26, 2021
“As I have stated throughout my time in office, I remain steadfast in my opposition to any legislative or regulatory efforts that would hinder cooperation with federal law enforcement and make Maryland a sanctuary state,” Hogan said in his veto message.
The General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, passed both measures with more than the three-fifths vote needed to override the vetoes when they are next in session.
Del. Eric Luedtke, the Maryland House majority leader, said the governor was doubling down “on a broken immigration system.”
“Look, for all that Larry Hogan likes to criticize Donald Trump, you can’t find a lot of distance between them on their rhetoric about immigration,” Luedtke, a Democrat from Montgomery County in the suburbs of the nation’s capital, said.
Hogan also vetoed a bill that would repeal a requirement that parole for an inmate serving a life sentence must be approved by the governor. The measure puts the decision in the control of a parole commission.
Hogan wrote that while he agrees that people serving life sentences with possibility of parole deserve to be “meaningfully considered for parole,” he recognizes “that each of the crimes that these individuals committed includes a victim and a family that had their lives forever altered by the actions of another.”
“I have an obligation to ensure the safety of all Marylanders, and including the governor in the parole process provides an important check on the Maryland Parole Commission, especially since the individuals who are sent to me for consideration have committed truly horrendous crimes, including first degree murder, rape, and sexual assault,” Hogan wrote.
The measure passed with enough votes for a veto override.
The governor also vetoed a bill that would decriminalize the possession of drug paraphernalia for personal use. Hogan described it as “a dangerous bill that completely erases the illegality of certain controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia by legalizing the delivery, sale, manufacturing, and possession of these dangerous and damaging items.”
“This is an ill-advised policy change that does nothing to remove drug dealers from our streets or reduce opioid-related fatalities, and instead encourages the use and possession of paraphernalia associated with drug use,” Hogan wrote.
The bill passed the Senate 28-19, one vote short of the 29 votes needed to override the veto in the Senate.