Governor Moore Signs Legislation to Make Maryland Safer

Published: 5/16/2024

​ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Wes Moore today presided over the fourth bill signing ceremony of 2024, which included bills under the Moore-Miller Administration’s 2024 legislative agenda to make Maryland safer.

"When we entered office, we made public safety our number one priority, and we said we were going to move differently on this issue—because the status quo wasn't working," said Gov. Moore. "Today, we make Maryland safer by signing bills to support victims, build stronger pipelines to law enforcement jobs, and tackle the gun violence epidemic, head-on. We're making progress, but our work is far from done. Together, we will continue to take an all-of-the-above approach to public safety."

bill signing 

Included among the pieces of legislation signed today are:

The Center for Firearm Violence Prevention and Intervention establishes a center within the Maryland Department of Health to consolidate and better coordinate Maryland’s public health approach to preventing gun violence. The center will partner with local governments, advocates, and medical professionals engaged in violence intervention programs to build upon the critical gun violence intervention programs that were pioneered in Maryland and help ensure that they are adequately funded and informed by the best available data. 

The Mental Health – Emergency Evaluation and Involuntary Admission Procedures and Assisted Outpatient Treatment Act include reforms for behavioral health services to help ensure that Marylanders have access to these services when needed. At the center of this bill is the legalization of Assisted Outpatient Treatment—a process used in 47 other states to allow for court-ordered outpatient treatment for individuals with severe mental illness who are not compliant with treatment and whose lack of compliance poses a potential danger to themselves or others. The bill also addresses peace officer emergency transport, the scope of practice for psychiatric nurse practitioners, and the required admission of emergency patients.

The Victim Compensation Reform Act modernizes Maryland’s victims' compensation program, ensuring that victims of crime get the support they need to recover. Through this legislation, the process of receiving victim's compensation will be more efficient with the removal of unnecessary barriers, allowing for faster access to compensatory funds to support immediate needs like funeral or emergency relocation expenses. Strong victim compensation systems can potentially improve the likelihood that victims of crime will be willing to testify against perpetrators.

The Growing Apprenticeships and the Public Safety Workforce (GAPS) Act improves Maryland’s training and support of highly qualified law enforcement professionals to protect our communities. With police departments across the state facing challenges with hiring and retaining officers, the bill proposes short and long-term actions to help address the problem by reforming the existing apprenticeship model for public safety officials–with the goal of making apprenticeships a more viable pathway to law enforcement, and requiring the establishment of a model policy for law enforcement officer wellness programs to ensure officers receive the support they need in their often challenging work. 

Governor Moore also signed The Pava LaPere Legacy of Innovation Act, which strengthens funding for the Baltimore Tech Hub and invests in Maryland’s innovation economy with the creation of the Pava LaPere Innovation Acceleration Grant Program and the Baltimore Innovation Initiative through the Technology Development Corporation. Both programs will provide access to capital and support the Baltimore Tech Hub in researching artificial intelligence and biotechnology.