ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Republican lawmakers unveiled Thursday a far-reaching $50 million safety plan to fortify schools against mass shooters, but there’s no mention of how to stop gun violence.
Lawmakers are dedicating $50 million for school safety improvements, from security cameras to bullet proof glass, school counselors and resource officers.
“Parents want to know that schools are doing everything they possibly can to make sure their facilities are safe,” said Rep. Jenifer Loon, (R – Eden Prairie).
It’s an unusually rapid response to the Florida school shootings.
The plan would allow Minnesota schools to choose the funding they need for building improvements, mental health programs, safety audits, even threat assessments.
But there’s pressure growing for lawmakers to do more than school safety improvements.
Thousands of high school students marched on the state Capitol over the weekend, calling for tougher gun control laws.
Moreover, Democratic lawmakers are demanding a vote — on universal background checks, and gun violence restraining orders.
“They just don’t understand why we are going to the same thing, and not talk about common sense measures that we can take to keep our communities safe by keeping guns out of the hands of people who we know are too dangerous to have them,” said Sen. Susan Kent, the DFL assistant minority leader.
There are not enough votes in the Republican controlled House and Senate to pass any gun control measures this year.
But House and Senate leaders say they may be holding “informational” gun hearings — without taking a vote — when the Legislature returns from Easter-Passover break.