General Assembly This Week: School Safety And State Budget
An Indiana House Committee this week amended a bill to require armed personnel in every Indiana public school while the Senate unveiled its budget containing part of Governor Mike Pence’s proposed tax cut. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports on the week at the Statehouse:
The Senate passed a school safety bill that encourages, but does not require, schools to hire school resource officers – trained law enforcement who would need extra training to work in the school environment. When the House Education Committee got the bill, it created a new position – school protection officer – and added it as a requirement for all public schools. The protection officer could be a teacher or principal and must carry a gun. Several people – including Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Governor Mike Pence – have expressed concern about the mandate portion of the change. A House committee made alterations to legislation regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The bill now requires the Pence administration to negotiate healthcare expansion with the federal government and no longer requests federal Medicaid dollars in block grant form. But Senate President Pro Tem David Long says his caucus is not happy with those changes. And the Senate budget unveiled this week contains a three percent income tax cut, well short of Pence’s proposed ten percent cut. Pence says the budget is a good start but adds he’ll continue to push for his full proposal. For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith.