Outlets report on state Capitol news from Texas, Ohio and New Hampshire.
The Associated Press: Texas House Advances School Security Bill After Shooting
Texas lawmakers are gearing up to pass new measures aimed at increasing campus security, adding more armed personnel and boosting student mental health resources a year after a mass shooting at a high school near Houston killed eight students and two substitute teachers. The move marks the first major action by state lawmakers since the May 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School. (Silber, 5/21)
Austin American-Statesman: One Year After Santa Fe Shooting, Texas Lawmakers Poised To Approve Sweeping Changes
Senate Bill 11 also would require school districts to better identify students who are at risk of hurting themselves and others and would require more emergency response training for school employees. The bill “improves school safety at each campus in the State of Texas. This legislation is inspired by the students, the faculty and the staff at Santa Fe High School, and I’d like to thank them,” said Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, who presented the bill on the House floor Tuesday. The bill would give school districts about $50 more per student, for a total cost to the state of $531 million over the next two years, for improving school infrastructures, purchasing security cameras and hiring peace officers and mental health personnel, among other expenses. (Chang, 5/21)
Texas Tribune: Texas Mental Health Bill Killed Over Technicality Is Resurrected
A major mental health bill prioritized by the state’s top leaders as a way to help prevent school shootings was partially revived late Tuesday night hours after it appeared to have been abruptly killed on a technicality during a dramatic night in the Texas House. State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, raised a “point of order” on Senate Bill 10, which created a Texas Mental Health Consortium aimed at bringing together psychiatric professionals from Texas medical schools and other health care providers to connect children to mental health services. (Pollock, Walters and Byrne, 5/21)
Austin American-Statesman: Abbott’s Priority Mental Health Bill Resurrected After Being Abruptly Killed By Fellow Republican In House
At the eleventh hour for its consideration of Senate bills, the Texas House late Tuesday resurrected Gov. Greg Abbott’s priority mental health bill that had been killed earlier in the day on a technicality. The move came over protests from the representative responsible for Senate Bill 10′s demise, leading to a heated exchange at the House speaker’s desk. (Chang and Downey, 5/21)
Columbus Dispatch: Bill Would Expand Food Stamp Work Requirements For Ohioans
House Bill 200, sponsored by Rep. Scott Wiggam, R-Wooster, would require able-bodied food stamp recipients between 18 and 60 without children younger than 6 to work at least 20 hours a week or attend school or job training. The requirement currently applies only to those up to 49 years old without dependent children younger than 18. The proposal would require those 16 to 59 years old to accept a job offer, and would prohibit them from voluntarily quitting a job or reducing their hours, and would prohibit state officials from seeking a federal waiver of work requirements in Ohio counties with higher unemployment rates. (Candisky, 5/21)
Concord Monitor: Sununu Signs Bipartisan Mental Health Bill To Address ER Boarding Crisis
A sweeping bill to address New Hampshire’s emergency department boarding crisis became law Tuesday, after Gov. Chris Sununu signed a measure advocates hope could turn the crisis around. Senate Bill 11 attempts to address a decade-long problem for the state: the dozens of mental health patients trapped in emergency departments and awaiting care. As of Sunday, 34 were housed in emergency departments, part of a backlog brought on by a severe shortage of beds, according to Sen. Tom Sherman, the bill’s prime sponsor. (DeWitt, 5/21)
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Source : Kaiser Health