- Associated Press - Friday, March 2, 2018

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to expand a Baltimore program that uses mediators to steer young adults away from violence and connect them to services has passed the House of Delegates.

The House passed the bill to expand the city’s Safe Streets program 125-13 Friday. It now goes to the Senate.

The bill adds $3.6 million to the program, which now has a budget of about $1.7 million from the city.

The measure was sponsored by Baltimore Del. Talmadge Branch, whose grandson Tyrone Ray was the city’s 239th homicide victim last year, when Baltimore had 342 murders. That was the highest per-capita rate on record.

The program operates in several neighborhoods with high levels of gun violence. Mayor Catherine Pugh has said she wants to expand it to more neighborhoods.

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