The Latest: Texas shooting may spur school security bill
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on school safety legislation at the Minnesota Legislature (all times local):
Republican party leaders say they may move quickly to pass a $28 million bill for security upgrades at Minnesota schools after the latest school shooting in Texas.
That additional funding has been part of the plan since the session began in February. But Republicans had planned to include it as part of a broader budget package before a midnight Sunday deadline.
But Gov. Mark Dayton has pressed lawmakers to send him a separate bill. Hours after the latest deadly shooting at a Santa Fe high school, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said the Legislature may pass such a bill later Friday.
The money allows schools to fund security upgrades like bulletproof glass and secure doors as well as increase mental health resources. House Speaker Kurt Daudt says the money will go out to schools at the same time no matter what approach the Legislature takes.
Supporters of tougher gun laws are citing Friday’s Texas school shooting to pressure Minnesota lawmakers to take action before the session ends this weekend.
The group Protect Minnesota is asking people to rally on the Capitol steps in St. Paul on Saturday.
A group of mostly Democratic lawmakers have pushed for stricter rules including expanded background checks for gun buyers. They also have a bill to make it easier to take guns from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.
But the bills fizzled. Democratic Sen. Ron Latz says Republicans have made clear they won’t support the bills.
Republican leaders say the focus should be on improving school security. They’ve proposed $28 million for things like bulletproof glass and doors as well as improved mental health resources.
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