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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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Thursday, March 29, 2018


ST. PAUL – 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.

“The Legislature is looking at a variety of aspects in order to answer the question as to what’s best for protecting our children,” said Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano. “The bills we are working on in this package allow us to make improvements in two crucial areas of mental health and school security. This subject will continue to evolve as we look for thoughtful, appropriate measures ensure our children’s safety.”

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.
  • School building security upgrades, and expanded use of Long-Term Facility Maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems.
  • School-linked mental health programming to ensure better outcomes for all kids.
  • Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies.
  • Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress.
  • School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene, and report threats facing students, teachers, and staff.


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