Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has announced that the U.S. Justice Department awarded the state more than $291 million in public grants to fund state-level safety agencies and organizations.
“The safety and well-being of our children are paramount, and I appreciate the Department of Justice for recognizing that with these grant awards,” said DeSantis.
The money was awarded after lawmakers petition for more federal funding to help curb school violence after the 2018 Parkland high school shooting exposed significant safety flaws.
The bipartisan effort to fund school safety was spearheaded by Rep. Ted Deutch (D) and Rep. John Rutherford (R), who introduced his STOP School Violence Act of 2018.
Rutherford tweeted that of the $291 million, a little over $6.4 million was directed from his school violence bill.
“This bill amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to revise and reauthorize through FY2028 the Secure Our Schools grant program. This grant program provides grants to states, local governments, and Indian tribes to improve security, including the placement and use of metal detectors and other deterrent measures, at schools and on school grounds.”-Congress.gov
Florida members who cosponsored Rutherford’s bill were Reps. Ted Deutch (D), Carlos Curbelo (R), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), Gus Bilirakis (R), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), Lois Frankel (D), Bill Posey (R), Frederica Wilson (D), Matt Gaetz (R), Dennis Ross (R), Tom Rooney (R), Darren Soto (D), Al Lawson (D), Vern Buchanan (R), Brian Mast (R), Mario Diaz-Balart (R), and Stephanie Murphy (D).