Public Fla. Colleges Request $74M for School Security
The request is the result of campus security concerns if one of Florida’s campus carry bills is passed into law.
The Council of Presidents for public colleges in Florida has asked for $74 million from the state to improve campus security.
The council, which represents 28 colleges, reached that figure after developing a three year campus safety plan that budgets for increased training, additional resources and equipment, according to Bradenton.com.
The request was influenced by two bills currently in the state legislature that would allow guns on college campuses. The council asked each state college to give an estimate of what it would take to maintain campus security if either of the bills passed. College presidents have opposed such bills since they were introduced last year.
“It’s what we think we have to do to minimize damages as it relates to the whole new world we live in and the potential for active shooters,” said Carol Probstfeld, president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.
The so-called campus carry bills are House Bill 4001 and Senate Bill 68. The House version is further along in the bill-making process and will be voted on by representatives in January. The Senate version is still in the chamber’s judiciary committee awaiting a final hearing.
Members of the college association say because the bills aren’t going through budget committees, legislators are largely ignoring the financial impact campus carry bills would have. Currently only five of the 28 public colleges in the state have a police force or armed security department.
There are roughly 1.4 million people with concealed carry permits in Florida, where you must be 21 or older to have a concealed weapon.