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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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School safety and more

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Dear Neighbor,

The House’s brief break to observe the Easter/Passover holiday season is winding down and on Monday we will begin the home stretch of the 2018 legislative session, with just six full weeks remaining before we are scheduled to adjourn.

Most of our time so far this session has been spent bringing bills through the committee process. This includes a package of bills related to increase student safety. These bills allow us to take on this issue from multiple angles, providing more resources to meet the needs of students and schools statewide. This strengthens our commitment on everything from providing school resource officers, to student counselors and mental health professionals, in addition to making critical building security upgrades.

Overall, the House proposes approximately $50 million for mental health and school safety funding, double the amount proposed by the governor. A real key to what we propose is that it would allow latitude at the local level, so parents and their school district officials could make decisions as they see fit to address their particular circumstances.

Here is an overview of numerous proposals House members are working through the committee process so they may be included in a larger school safety package:

  • School resource officers, student support personnel, and other school security programs funded through increased Safe Schools revenue, including a floor level of funding for small schools.
  • School building security upgrades, and expanded use of Long-Term Facility Maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems.
  • School-linked mental health programming to ensure better outcomes for all kids.
  • Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies.
  • Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress.
  • School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene, and report threats facing students, teachers, and staff.

This issue is a work in progress, so stay tuned as things develop in St. Paul. As always, your input is welcome on this and other subjects.



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