Prince George’s County’s Alsobrooks Says Police Reform Will Be ‘Red-Hot’ Issue in Annapolis

    Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) told members of the county’s state House delegation to Annapolis that she expects police reform will be “a red-hot issue that will have all of our attention during this next legislative session.”

    Members of Maryland’s House of Delegates from Prince George’s County held a virtual meeting on legislative priorities for the upcoming session in Annapolis, which is slated to start Jan. 13.

    Alsobrooks told lawmakers that “people of every stripe have taken to the streets to demand reforms to police departments” with “social justice and equality for all.”

    She added, “We are looking in our next budget season at a write-down of about $100 million in terms of revenue losses.”

    Alsobrooks said she wanted lawmakers to be aware of that since, under the Kirwan bill, Prince George’s County would be among the first jurisdictions to have to pay into the reform plan.

    Piggybacking on Alsobrooks’ comments, Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Monica Goldson said with a drop in enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school system is taking an economic hit.

    Goldson said enrollment has dropped by roughly 3,000 students. “This could equate to approximately a $60 million loss to the school system,” she said, referring to funding that’s tied to per-pupil expenditures.

    Another issue that Alsobrooks wants lawmakers to tackle: food deserts, a term that refers to areas that aren’t served by grocery stores.

    She said part of the solution would be “to allow grocery stores located in food deserts to sell beer and wine. This we have learned is a tool” to attract top grocery chains to underserved areas.

    Maryland’s General Assembly session will look different this year: Senate leaders already unveiled plans that include requiring everyone to wear masks at all times, and health screenings every day for people entering the State House complex.

    As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Kate Ryan. Click here for the WTOP News website.