Gov. Walker stops in Onalaska to tout 'school safety' proposal

Marco Green
March 22, 2018

Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., is expected to advocate for his School Safety Plan Tuesday in Ashwaubenon. And, just weeks after 17 people were shot to death at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

"Many of you at home are parents and you can only protect your children for so long, at some point they get on a bus and they go to a building where you hope they'll be just as well protected as they are in their own home", Kleefisch said.

Governor Walker's School Safety Plan was created with input from both the State Senate and State Assembly and stakeholders, and it has received support from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

A new office of school safety would be created under the state Department of Justice, which would be in charge of the grants.

Republicans who control the Senate and Assembly also appeared to reach a last-minute deal on a $100 million school safety package that the Senate was slated to approve late Tuesday on its last day in session this year. She fears the bill would result in creation of a military state in the schools.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald wanted to pass a slightly different version of the plan that Walker had proposed.

Walker's proposals don't include tighter gun control as Democrats have urged.

Today, the Senate voted unanimously to pass Assembly Bill 825, which has become known as "Sara's Law".

Those amendments would have provided categorical aid to school districts instead of grants, which will phase out over three years; ban the sale of bump stocks; put in place universal background checks; increase school mental health grants; and prevent those convicted of domestic violence from possessing a gun.

"On March 22, 2017 our community suffered a heartbreaking tragedy that resulted in the loss of four innocent lives, so the passage of this bill is timely as we are nearly exactly one year out from that tragic event", said Senator Petrowski.

While the Senate was busy debating the bill, in another room at the State Capitol, an Assembly committee was going ahead with a public hearing. "We need to do everything we can to make our schools less attractive targets and less vulnerable targets to attacks and danger", Schimel said.

Walker called a special legislative session last Thursday to address the proposals. The additional requirements would include emergency prevention and mitigation and security plans for after school activities, among several other requirements.

In other action, the Senate approved a plan that would close the Lincoln Hills juvenile prison by 2021 and move inmates to smaller, regional facilities. Walker was pushing - the child tax credit. Under the Senate version of the bill, sales tax would be waived on clothing costing less than $75, a computer costing less than $750, computer supplies costing less than $250 and school supplies costing no more than $75.

Embracing the sales tax holiday was a reversal for Fitzgerald and other Republican senators who had previously blasted it as nothing more than a gimmick.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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