Campbell introduces bills to enhance school safety - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Campbell introduces bills to enhance school safety

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(Source: CBS 5 News) Campbell plans to push a $100 million school and community safety plan that would triple funding for school resource officers, add money for mental health treatment and require background checks at gun shows. (Source: CBS 5 News) Campbell plans to push a $100 million school and community safety plan that would triple funding for school resource officers, add money for mental health treatment and require background checks at gun shows.
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

State Rep. Chad Campbell introduced a series of bills Thursday that will enact the provisions of a $100 million school and community safety plan he recently announced.

The plan would increase funding for the school resource officer's program, mental health treatment and require background checks for all buyers at Arizona gun shows.

Campbell, the leading Democrat in the state House of Representatives, announced the plan Jan. 9 and said it will be paid for by eliminating a tax credit for private school tuition that is popular among majority Republicans, closing tax loopholes and tapping into the state's budget surplus.

Campbell also proposed tripling the number of school counselors over the next three years and establishing a school safety fund for facility upgrades such as cameras, security, etc., that would be controlled at a local level.

Campbell said he worked with law enforcement, mental healthcare providers and educators to develop the legislative package.

Here are the bills he introduced Thursday as part of his broader plan:

  • HB 2374 - school safety program; funding; expansion
  • HB 2375 - behavioral health services; appropriation
  • HB 2083 - RBHA; treatment outcomes; measurement tools
  • HB 2376 - mandatory mental health evaluation; admission
  • HB 2377 - prohibited possessor; voluntary commitment; restoration
  • HB 2378 - destruction; forfeited or unclaimed firearms
  • HB 2379 - prohibited possessor; order of protection
  • HB 2380 - concealed carry; permit requirements; offense
  • HB 2381 - firearms; sales; transfers; background checks

Campbell said he hopes the Republican-controlled House will at least consider the bills, although historically Democratic-sponsored bills have failed poorly.

"This is a sensitive and tough subject. I hope that today is beginning of a rational, reasonable conversation about this. I hope to avoid rhetoric we get trapped into," Campbell said.

Gov. Jan Brewer is considering adding some school resource officer funding to the budget proposal she'll release late next week. Campbell's plan would triple funding for the SRO program.

State Attorney General Tom Horne has proposed arming one educator at each public school in Arizona.

Campbell's Safer Schools, Safer Communities plan includes legislation that will enhance background checks for gun purchases and will restore the state's concealed weapons permit requirements.

"Gun law reform is something we have to do in this state," Campbell said. "I'm a gun owner and I support the Second Amendment but we need common sense reforms."

Campbell added that making schools and communities safer is not a partisan issue.

"Everyone should be able to come together on this," Campbell said. "I think that we can all agree that keeping kids safe is a priority."

Campbell said he believes his plan is a realist proposal.

"We have done a good job of balancing out concerns of the community, schools, law enforcement and gun owners," he said.

"Unless you are a criminal or have mental health issues, this will not take a gun out of your house," he said.

Copyright 2013 KPHO Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved. (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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