Friday, September 21, 2018
  • The Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

With help of Parkland survivor, Rubio and Nelson push school safety bill

WASHINGTON – Joined by members of the Parkland community, Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson this morning called for swift passage of a bill to address school violence.

"We just want to get it done," Rubio said. "It's not the end of the debate, obviously. You've got to take one step before you take the second."

The bill, led by Sen. Orrin Hatch, is the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act and the House companion is up for a vote this week. It's sponsored by Rep. John Rutherford, R-Jacksonville.

The legislation provides Justice Department grants for schools to train people to identify warning signs of troubled students, improve school security infrastructure, including anonymous reporting system and created threat assessment and crisis intervention teams as well as facilitates coordination between schools and local law enforcement, according to a summary from Rubio's office.

The bill would authorize $75 million for FY 2018, and $100 million annually for the next ten years.

Joining a bipartisan group of senators was Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Kyle Kashuv, who has differed with some other students who have demanded more strict gun controls.

"I truly believe if this act had been in place a month ago, Parkland wouldn't have happened," Kashuv said.

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