Walker to introduce school safety package by March 20

Photo by Michelle Stocker, The Capital Times

Gov. Scott Walker plans to introduce a comprehensive school safety package by March 20.

The guv announced late last week he would seek to pass legislation addressing school safety after a school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead.

Walker spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg Tuesday added the guv is working with legislative leaders to win support in both chambers and will have something prior to the next Senate floor session later this month.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, told WisPolitics.com details of the package have yet to come together, but that he would like to see additional state funds for school safety provisions.

“What we want to focus on is actually preventing them from entering the building,” he said.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, told WisPolitics.com he wanted to provide schools one-time state aid for building safety improvements.

Assembly Dems earlier Tuesday called on the guv to consider a bill that would give school districts the authority to raise revenue limits to pay for school safety-related measures including security guards. It would reinstate a law that was repealed in 2011.

Steineke said he opposes the bill given that it doesn’t provide any matching state funding.

Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, knocked Republicans for getting rid of the measure in 2011. He also touted the gun overhaul legislation Assembly Dems have been pushing for years, including universal background checks.

“We’re getting a lot of election year promises that try to make up for seven years of inaction,” he said, pointing to the guv’s plans on the youth prison system and reinsurance.

Assembly Republicans previously rejected a version of the bill Feb. 22 when it was introduced by Dems on the floor as a sub to AB 693, GOP Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt’s so-called “Teacher Protection Act.”