Howard County exec vows to veto sanctuary county bill, but it might not be the end
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WBFF) - Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman was not mincing any words Tuesday as he announced he will make good on his promise to veto the controversial sanctuary bill, CB9, just passed Monday night by the County Council.
The veto will either happen Wednesday or Thursday.
The council has until Thursday to send the bill to the county executive's office. Once he gets it, Kittleman promises to veto immediately.
"Once it comes, it will be back down there as soon as possible," Kittleman said. "In Howard County, we do not have a problem with this issue."
Kittleman said no one has reported being treated poorly because of their immigration status.
"Not one time. So why would you file legislation when there hasn't been one instance of a problem?" he said.
The bill passed Monday by a 3-2 vote.
"Passage of this legislation really affirms our values that we are an inclusive community," Councilman Calvin Ball, one of the bill's sponsors, said after the vote Monday.
The issue has drawn hundreds to council meetings and rallies, with citizens split in their support and opposition.
"We want people to know in Howard County they can feel safe," resident Lucie Geinzer said at a support rally Monday before the vote.
"CB9 will not, cannot, fulfill its true potential," said Councilman Jon Weinstein, the only Democrat to vote against the bill. "The result is a purely symbolic bill incapable of bringing about the benefits its supporters hope it will deliver."
Kittleman said he is vetoing because it provides a false sense of security, compromises public safety and puts county federal funds at risk.
To the bill's supporters, Kittleman pledges the county's stance on immigration won't change.
"I can understand folks who are concerned about it on the federal level," he said. "We're going to continue to treat everyone with respect and dignity, no matter what their status is immigration-wise."
Once Kittleman vetoes it, the bill will be sent back to the council in March.
They can choose to vote to override the veto. If that happens, they'll need four votes to override.
If the veto is overridden, that's not a guarantee the bill will become law.
"If it's overridden, I've heard there will be no question it will be taken to a referendum," Kittleman said.
"There's so many people disappointed in this legislation. I have not seen this type of response to legislation in my career. I have no doubt it will go to referendum if it gets overridden," he said.