Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jenifer Loon (R)

Back to profile

RELEASE: House Republicans put student safety first

Thursday, March 29, 2018

St. Paul, MN—House Republicans unveiled a legislative package Thursday aimed at putting student safety first. Legislators’ multifaceted approach includes more resources to meet the needs of students and schools statewide. This allows for hiring more school resource officers, student counselors and mental health professionals in addition to making critical building security upgrades. In total, House Republicans are proposing approximately $50 million for mental health and school safety funding, double the amount proposed by Governor Dayton.

“We are here for our children. By partnering with our local communities we can address their unique needs, whether a school lacks an on-site police officer or a child asks for help with mental health issues,” said Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, Chair of the House Education Finance Committee. “Our comprehensive proposal enhances school security, addresses student mental health, and provides our districts with needed resources and flexibility to keep our kids safe.”

The following solutions, authored by numerous House Republican members, are currently advancing through the public committee process, and will be included in the larger proposal:

  • 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 authored by Reps. Barb Haley, R-Red Wing and Anna Wills, R-Rosemount.

  • School building security upgrades, and expanded use of Long-Term Facility Maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems authored by Rep. Loon.

  • School-linked mental health programming to ensure better outcomes for all kids authored by Rep. Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley.

  • Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies authored by Reps. Randy Jessup, R-Shoreview and Drew Christensen, R-Savage.

  • Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress authored by Rep. Dario Anselmo, R-Edina.

  • School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene, and report threats facing students, teachers, and staff authored by Rep. Keith Franke, R-St. Paul Park.

“We want to thank Chair Loon and members for developing this comprehensive approach to student safety. As legislative leaders, we owe it to Minnesota children to advance effective, meaningful solutions this session,” concluded Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers.