Carozza Thanks Governor Hogan for Vetoing Sanctuary State Legislation, Other Bills that Jeopardize Public Safety

Senator Mary Beth Carozza today thanked Governor Larry Hogan for vetoing four pieces of legislation that jeopardize public safety by making Maryland a sanctuary state and decriminalizing drug paraphernalia.

House Bill 16—Correctional Services - Immigration Detention - Prohibition would prevent local detention centers from entering into contracts with federal immigration authorities, which negatively impacts Worcester County.

“During the Senate Floor debate on this legislation on the final day of session, I offered an amendment that would exempt Worcester County from this law,” Senator Carozza said, noting that Worcester County Jail has provided a safe and secure environment for detainees who are pending processing under federal regulations since 1999. The amendment to exempt Worcester County did not pass and the legislation passed by a vote of 30-17, with Carozza voting against it.

Also vetoed was Senate Bill 420— Criminal Law - Drug Paraphernalia for Administration – Decriminalization which would decriminalize the possession of items such as syringes, spoons, needles and scales used to use and distribute heroin and other controlled dangerous substances.

“Given the opioid epidemic in our State, which has seen a resurgence during the COVID-19 pandemic, Senate Bill 420 sends the wrong message and also removes an important tool for law enforcement to shut down drug dealers and identify those that would benefit from addiction counseling and treatment,” Senator Carozza said, noting her involvement with local opioid intervention teams. Carozza also mentioned that after marijuana paraphernalia was decriminalized in 2016, there was an uptick of public marijuana smoking on the Ocean City Boardwalk, impacting businesses and visitors in the community. Carozza voted against Senate Bill 420, which passed the Senate by a vote of 28-19.

Carozza also voted against House Bill 23, which also prohibits law enforcement from working with federal immigration authorities, and Senate Bill 202, which makes Maryland's parole process less accountable to the public.

“I will continue to use my position to advocate for public safety, and when the Maryland General Assembly reconvenes in January 2022, I will vote to sustain these vetoes.”

Mary Beth Carozza for State Senate