Assembly passes school safety bills

The state Assembly has passed two school safety packages.

The Assembly approved a plan on a 78-8 vote Thursday that would lay out $100 million in grants for school security upgrades and require annual school safety drills. The Senate passed that legislation on Tuesday. It goes next to Gov. Scott Walker.

The Assembly also passed two more school safety bills. One would require the state Department of Justice to conduct background checks on long-gun buyers. Right now the federal government conducts those checks but Assembly Republicans said the DOJ would consult more state databases in its checks. The other bill would allow school boards to share surveillance camera footage with police. Both bills call for establishing an online hotline for reporting bullying and prohibiting attackers from profiting off their stories.

The bills passed on voice votes. They go next to the state Senate. That chamber wrapped up its two-year session on Tuesday and it wasn't clear if Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald would reconvene the body to take up the bills. That led Assembly Democrats to accuse their Republican counterparts of simply trying to give themselves campaign talking points.

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