State senator urges Assembly to pass school safety billsPosted: Updated:
State Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-District 40) urged the Assembly to take action on four bills the Senate passed in March aimed at making schools safer.
The state Senate voted to increase funding to help schools pay for armed police and security upgrades in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
The other bills would make two annual active-shooter drills mandatory and set aside money for mental health coordinators in schools.
Murphy sponsored a bill that would define school shootings as terrorism. It would enable individuals to be charged with committing an act of terrorism if they knowingly and unlawfully discharge a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, a place of worship, a mass gathering of 25 or more people, or in a business of one or more employees and protects such sites under counter-terrorism laws.
"Enough is enough. We find billions of dollars to waste in New York state. We should find billions of dollars to harden our schools and make sure our kids come first," said Murphy, surrounded by administrators and law enforcement officials at Copper Beech Middle School in Yorktown.
The state Senate has already passed the four bills to help fund the school safety projects, but the Assembly has not acted yet.
"I'm cautiously optimistic that we can actually use common sense for once, get this passed for the safety of all our kids," said Murphy.