Brown, Gansler pitch domestic violence programs

February 21, 2014|By Erin Cox | The Baltimore Sun

Two top Democrats vying to become governor on Friday pitched competing proposals to curb domestic violence, telling legislators current laws do not go far enough to protect children.

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, pitched three bills backed by the O'Malley administration, including one that would make it a crime to commit an act of domestic violence in front of a child.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler testified on a similar proposal that would make it a crime to commit any act of violence in front of children who are at least two-years-old.

Gansler held a press conference before the hearings and said he "couldn't care less" which bill passed, as long as one did.

Brown also pitched a bill that would make it easier for certain domestic violence victims to get permanent peace orders. But it was a third proposal, which would lower the burden of proof for all domestic violence victims to get protective orders, that Brown said in an interview was the most important.

He said every state besides Maryland have that lower burden of proof, and applying it here would "immensely" help reduce domestic violence.

Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur is also running in the Democratic primary for governor.

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