WINDHAM — Representative Patrick Corey, R-Windham, is working on a school safety bill in Augusta that pushes for a $20 million bond to be administered through the school renovation fund.
Corey said last week that the Maine Legislature’s Executive Council voted unanimously to allow the bill to move forward with debate as an emergency proposal.
Corey has been working with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine on the legislation following the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“Funding is really the biggest obstacle to security enhancements at Maine’s K-12 public schools. I strongly believe the Department of Education and the Department of Public Safety are in the best positions to determine these needs,” Corey said in a press release. “I feel a real sense of immediacy as I know many Mainers do but without the funding in place, very little can happen.”
Corey said that there is no official bill text for the proposal yet, but that he has heard from both Republicans and Democrats who are interested in co-sponsoring the legislation.
Corey’s interest in school safety predates the recent shooting, he said, and he noted that his emergency bill aims at securing school’s generally — not just from active shooter situations — and to include other instance such as domestic violence or custodial concerns as well.
“I don’t want to turn our schools into anything that resembles a jail or prison,” Corey emphasized.
“Our organization is proud to introduce legislation that, unlike other proposals coming forward in recent days will actually make our schools a safer place to learn,” said Sportsman’s Alliance Director, David Trahan. “This bill will make major investments in modern technology and proven security upgrades to protect Maine teachers, support staff and students at all times and in all situations.”
Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.