Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's fiscal 2019 budget proposal includes $2 million for security enhancements at schools and child-care centers, a response to an increase in hate crimes in recent years.
If the funds are approved by the Maryland General Assembly, institutions perceived to be vulnerable to hate crimes or attacks would be able to apply for grants to upgrade facilities, hire security guards and teach safety training.
Leaders from the region's Jewish and Muslim communities championed the proposal in a release Thursday issued by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.
The money would fund a state grant program created by the legislature in April. Both secular and religious institutions that are considered vulnerable could apply for funding.
In November, the FBI reported an increase in hate crimes from 2015 to 2016, with a particular uptick affecting Jewish, Muslim and LGBT groups.
Two Jewish schools in the Washington region — one in Montgomery County and one in Fairfax County — received bomb threats in February. Around the same time, dozens of Jewish community centers, schools, synagogues, and cemeteries nationwide received hate messages.