WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Representative Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), and 17 of their Republican colleagues in introducing the Safe Schools Act. The legislation would allow COVID relief dollars allocated to schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to be used by schools to harden themselves with physical security measures, such as locks, panic buttons, individual room security systems, video surveillance, and hiring and paying the salaries of armed school resource officers. Expenses for school security improvements would be except from current ESSER guidelines that require expenses to be related to COVID-19.
Sen. Johnson has been a consistent advocate for enhanced school safety practices. On May 25, Sen. Johnson delivered remarks on his legislation, the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, and asked for unanimous consent for its passage. The bill would codify into law a clearinghouse of information, available at SchoolSafety.gov, to inform parents, teachers and school officials of the best practices for improving school security. Following Sen. Johnson’s remarks, Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.) blocked the passage of the bill.
Sen. Johnson, Sen. Marshall, and Rep. Garcia are joined on the legislation by Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), John Kennedy (La.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), James Lankford (Okla.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.).
The full text of the bill can be found here.