JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott responded to last week's massacre at a Broward County high school by unveiling an ambitions plan of action Friday and said he will work aggressively with the Florida Legislature over the final two weeks of the session on $500 million to fund the plan.
Here are the top points of the governor's plan:
1. Keep guns away from dangerous and violent people
- Create a “violent threat restraining order”
- Strengthen gun purchase and possession restrictions for mentally ill individuals
- under the Baker Act.
- Prohibit a person from possessing or purchasing a firearm if they are subject to an injunction for protection
- Require anyone buying firearms to be 21 years old or over. (Exceptions for military, law enforcement)
- Establish enhanced criminal penalties for threats to schools,
- Ban purchase or sale of bump stocks
2. Keep students safe
- Mandatory school resource officers in every public school (minimum of one per 1,000 students)
- Provide sheriffs’ departments the authority to train additional school personnel or
- reserve law enforcement officers to protect students
- Require mandatory active-shooter training as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security.
- Increase funding in the Safe Schools Allocation to pay for hardening measures like metal detectors, bullet-proof glass, steel doors and upgraded locks.
- Require each school district that receives a Safe Schools Allocation coordinate with local law enforcement, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Florida Department of Children and Families and community behavioral health providers to share information.
- Establish a new, anonymous K-12 “See Something, Say Something” statewide, dedicated hotline, website and mobile app.
- Establish funding to require access to dedicated mental health counselors to provide direct counseling services to students at every school.
- Require each school to have a threat assessment team that meets monthly
- Require crisis intervention training for all school personnel.
3. Mental health initiatives
- Expand mental health service teams statewide to serve youth and young adults with
- early or serious mental illness.
- Require every sheriffs’ office to have a DCF case manager embedded in their department.
- Provide law enforcement and mental health coordination matching grants to allow sheriffs to establish special law enforcement teams to coordinate with DCF case managers.
Scott is proposing spending $500 million on this plan. He said the action plan grew out of emergency meetings Scott held earlier this week with law enforcement, school administrators, teachers, mental health experts and state agency leadership, as well as meetings with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed and 14 others injured when a gunman opened fire last week.
"But let me be clear, there is nothing more important than the safety of our children," Scott said. "Our kids deserve nothing less. Fortunately, our economy is booming, and we have the resources to protect our schools and our students. And, if providing this funding means we won't be able to cut taxes this year, so be it."
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