A FY23 Budget Compromise: Extra $46M for Police Aid, Targeting Violent Crime

A police funding proposal from Governor Larry Hogan, and debate through the Maryland General Assembly’s budget process, yielded a nearly $46 million boost for county police departments across the state, through a special distribution mechanism targeting each county’s incidence of violent crime.

The Governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 (Senate Bill 290/House Bill 300 – Budget Bill; item D21A01.03) included a nearly additional $46m in State Aid for Police Protection (Police Aid) grants, for a total of $122.5m.

A corresponding Administration bill, House Bill 411 – Public Safety – Local Law Enforcement Coordination Council and Coordinator and State Aid for Police Protection Fund, had sought to permanently increase Police Aid funding for counties from $2.50 per resident to $8.96, while providing Baltimore City with an annual grant of $8 million. For municipalities, funding would have increased from $1,950 per sworn officer to $2,925. Had HB 411 passed, the aforementioned $46 million would have become a permanent increase, mandated in each year’s proposed state budget.

Absent the bill’s passage, however, the Maryland General Assembly amended the Governor’s budget- redirecting enhanced Police Aid funding (the $46m allocation beyond what was required by current law) to be distributed to “jurisdictions in proportion to the number of reported violent crimes per the most recent official crime report for the State – the 2020 Maryland Uniform Crime Report.”

Because the action was taken only within the budget bill, its effect is limited to FY 23 only. Any future year funding would be at the Governor’s discretion for future budget proposals.

Discussion of and context for the Governor’s initial proposal, alongside the initial proposed distribution of the additional funding for police aid, is contained in the Department of Legislative Services’ analysis of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control, Youth, and Victims’ Services.

Finalized SAPP allocations per county are available for each jurisdiction in data released by the Department of Legislative Services: Two Year Charts by Program, which lists the statutory allocation as “Police Aid” and the additional FY23 distributions as “Police Aid Enhancement” for each jurisdiction.