Politics GOP chairman: Government funding bill will likely boost school safety

06:06  14 march  2018
06:06  14 march  2018 Source:   The Hill

House to vote on school safety bill this week

  House to vote on school safety bill this week The US House of Representatives is set to vote this week on a bill to give money for more security at schools, as the nation's lawmakers continue to search for legislative solutions to gun violence that can pass the Legislative Branch. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote Wednesday, exactly one month after the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting, on the "STOP School Violence Act of 2018," which was introduced by Florida Republican Rep. John Rutherford, a former sheriff of Duval County. "STOP" is an acronym for "Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing.

Tom Cole wearing a suit and tie© Provided by The Hill

Lawmakers will likely boost money for school safety in an upcoming government funding package, a key GOP subcommittee chairman said Tuesday night.


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Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who heads the House Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services and education, said appropriators want to increase funding for an existing grant program that is designed to prevent violence in and around schools.

"Stay tuned. It's going to be a nice number," Cole told reporters. "We are looking at putting additional funding well beyond what was in either the House or Senate [spending proposals.]"

Florida education budget should be revised, superintendents say

  Florida education budget should be revised, superintendents say <p>Florida school superintendents on Wednesday urged state legislators to hold a special session to revise the state's $88.7 billion budget, saying it bolsters school security after a deadly shooting in February but neglects basic education needs.</p>The Florida Association of District School Superintendents sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott, urging him to veto the education component of the fiscal 2018-2019 spending plan and send it back to lawmakers.

"We're looking at a variety of ways that we can make more money available to make schools safer," he added.

Lawmakers are wrapping up work on a massive omnibus spending bill that will fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. Text of the legislation could land this week, with current government funding set to run out next Friday.

In the wake of a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last month, some lawmakers have been pushing to increase Title IV funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which they say will help provide money for schools to train faculty members on violence prevention strategies, provide mental health counseling services and implement anti-bullying initiatives.

The grant program currently receives $400 million in federal funding every year. President Trump has proposed entirely eliminating funding for the program in his annual budget request.

Republicans agree to clarify that CDC can research gun violence

  Republicans agree to clarify that CDC can research gun violence Republicans say the Dickey Amendment has never prohibited gun research in the first place. A mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead reopened the debate in Congress about loosening the long-standing restrictions on the CDC.The amendment was inserted into a 1996 government funding bill by the late Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) and has been renewed annually.The provision states that "None of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control.

"While funding for school safety cannot replace meaningful, strong gun safety reforms, as our nation faces these crises, we must answer the call of parents, educators, and students to provide schools and educators with the resources they need to meet these challenges and keep their students safe and healthy," a group of Senate Democrats wrote in a letter to appropriators last week.

GOP leaders have brushed aside calls for new gun control laws after the deadly mass shooting, instead focusing their response on school safety.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has introduced legislation that would, among other things, allow schools to use Title IV funding for upgrading school infrastructure to make it safer, including installing new alarm systems, security cameras and better entrances and exits.

The House is also scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bipartisan bill that would create a brand new grant program designed to help educate students and teachers about how to spot and report signs of gun violence. The bill would develop anonymous telephone and online systems where people could report threats of violence.

Paul: Shutting down government not my goal .
<p>Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) emphasized Thursday night that he is not intent on shutting down the government as lawmakers face a Friday night funding deadline.</p>During an appearance on Fox News, Paul stopped short of saying whether he would let leadership speed up a mammoth government funding bill allowing Congress to avoid the third shutdown of the year.

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