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Governor Signs School Safety Bill

Gov. Mike Pence speaks before signing a the school security bill on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

Governor Mike Pence Tuesday inked a bill allowing school corporations to apply for state grants to beef up security.

“I’m standing here as much as a dad as I am as a governor to take this opportunity to do my duty to sign Senate Enrolled Act 1 into law,” he said before he signed the bill.

Flanked by students from two Indianapolis schools, Pence penned his signature not once, but dozens of times, offering autographs to the kids on gubernatorial stationary after the bill was signed and he had given bill author Sen. Pete Miller (R-Avon) his pen back.

The bill itself lacks what was, at one time, its most controversial provision, which was an amendment from Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) which would have mandated school safety officers, including possible principals or teachers, carry guns.

Now, the law sets up a state fund where school districts can apply for up to $50,000 in matching grants. But when reporters questioned the governor about the possibility schools could not find the necessary cash in their budgets to qualify for the match, the governor reminded the press gaggle the issue is due more scrutiny.

“Ultimately, as we complete our work in our public safety working group and the summer study committee, there may be a need for additional resources going forward.  And we’ll take those questions as they come,” Pence said.

If schools can obtain the state money, they can use it to help meet the bill’s requirement that each school resource officer get the 40 hours of training now necessary to work in an educational environment.

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