Maryland Senate overrides Hogan’s veto on ‘ban the box’ college admissions bill

For the second time in one day, the Maryland Senate overrode a veto from Gov. Larry Hogan. voting Friday 32-15 to enact a bill barring colleges and universities from asking about arrests and convictions on initial application forms.

Proponents of the so-called “ban the box” legislation said it would remove a barrier deterring people with criminal records from even applying to college.

Opponents, echoing Hogan’s veto message, said the measure could endanger students on campus by permitting violent offenders, including rapists, into their midst.

Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a Baltimore Democrat was the bill’s Senate sponsor, said the law only applies to the initial application. She said colleges and universities remain free to ask about arrests and convictions at later stages of the admission process and to deny entry to applicants they believe pose a danger.

A Hogan spokeswoman, Shareese N. Churchill, said the override would “make college campuses less safe.”

“The governor believes in second chances for nonviolent offenders, but making it easier for violent criminals to be admitted to our colleges is irresponsible and dangerous,” she said. “Today’s vote also showed a blatant disregard for victims’ rights at a time when we are having a national conversation

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