According to the Union Leader, the Senate approved an additional $10 million in funding to “harden” security in public schools:
The action came when senators agreed to suspend their rules and adopted a floor amendment rewriting House Bill 1415, which called for a death benefit for a school employee killed in the line of duty.
The death benefit was removed and replaced with an appropriation of $10 million to the Public School Infrastructure Fund to “harden” security in public schools.
The amendment passed in a 14-10 party line vote, with all Republicans voting in favor.
Democrats voted in support of suspending the rules, but did not want the death benefit initiative from the House to be discarded.
The Public School Infrastructure Fund was established in the 2018-2019 budget.
More than $13.7 million in grants have been approved by the Governor and Executive Council from the school infrastructure fund, with another $4.9 million on upcoming agendas.
School districts have submitted another $7.8 million in requests on a waitlist.
In his State of the State address in February, Governor Sununu talked about the Fund as a policy priority and a way to help make New Hampshire’s schools the safest in the nation:
“I advocated for a new Public School Infrastructure Fund – which is investing nearly $20 million in state funds directly to communities in making long overdue infrastructure upgrades and security upgrades.
For example, we provided funding directly to Berlin Public Schools to secure the main entrance of the high school and the preschool program.
In Salem, the middle school will now have exterior door card readers installed to secure the rear and side entrance of the building.
And in Dover, a new surveillance system will allow the school’s main office to monitor all points of entry and the playground area.
In the end, close to 300 schools across the state will receive security funding grants.
Our goal is simple – to make New Hampshire’s schools the safest in the nation.”