A group of victim advocates are holding a "tweetchat" to draw attention to what they said was a broken promise from Gov. Martin O'Malley to give money to families of homicide victims.
The chat can be followed on Twitter using the hash tag #victimsmatter
In the bill that would repeal Maryland's death penalty, O'Malley included $500,000 for next year's budget to help families of murder victims and other violent crimes. O'Malley pressed repeal on the grounds it was expense and ineffective, arguing taxpayer dollars should be better spent.
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Lawmakers approved repeal, but deleted the creation of a "Victims of Crime Fund" because the appropriation may have complicated efforts for citizens to petition repeal to the ballot.
The governor did not include other specific funding for crime victims in his supplemental budget to this year's spending plan, which sent down to lawmakers earlier this week and is pending final approval.
In response to the "tweetchat," O'Malley tweeted that "we remain committed to providing assistance to victims' families."
O'Malley spokeswoman Raquel Gillory wrote in a blog post that the administration will still try to get money to victims through the Governor's Office of Crime and Criminal Prevention. That agency has created a survey to identify which public services are lacking for families of murder victims.