May 26, 2005

The Honorable Michael E. Busch
Speaker of the House
State House
Annapolis, MD 21401

Dear Mr. Speaker:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, today I have vetoed House Bill 849 - Criminal Law and Procedure - Criminal Gang Offenses.

This bill prohibits a person from threatening an individual, or a friend or family member of an individual, with physical violence with the intent to coerce, induce, or solicit the individual to participate in or prevent the individual from leaving a criminal gang. It prohibits specified threats or physical violence within a specified distance of school property. It establishes penalties for specified violations of the Act and prohibits the merging of specified crimes. Senate Bill 488, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign House Bill 849.

Very truly yours,
Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.