The Latest: Walker focused on school building safety

March 7, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Scott Walker meeting with Republican senators (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker says his approach to school safety will focus on making the buildings safe, much like how airport security was changed after the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Walker spoke to The Associated Press after a closed-door meeting Wednesday with Senate Republicans.

Walker has been negotiating with state lawmakers to come up with a plan to bolster school security. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald also says he wants to focus on improving the safety of buildings and other facilities.

The Assembly passed a bill making money available to pay for armed security officers.

Walker says he’s focused on ways to prevent firearms or other weapons getting into buildings.

He plans to announce his proposal in the next two weeks.


12:06 p.m.

Gov. Scott Walker says he thinks the juvenile justice overhaul bill is in a “great spot,” even though Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says it’s “not ready for prime time.”

Walker spoke with The Associated Press after meeting privately Wednesday with Republican senators. Prior to the meeting Fitzgerald told reporters changes were needed to the juvenile justice bill that would close the troubled Lincoln Hills prison as part of a broader reorganization.

Walker says he hasn’t heard a specific concern, “but if there is one, we’re willing to listen.”

Walker says he believes the bill as it stands now could pass “overwhelmingly” in the Senate despite Fitzgerald’s concerns. The Assembly passed it unanimously.


11:15 a.m.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he’s working on a school safety proposal that would send an undetermined amount of general tax dollars to schools.

Fitzgerald said Wednesday the money would be focused on improving the safety of school buildings and other facilities. Lawmakers have talked about giving schools money to spend on such things as locks, cameras and other safety features.

The Assembly approved making grants available to school to pay for armed guards.

But Fitzgerald says that’s never been a focus of the Senate.

Gov. Scott Walker says he will unveil a school safety package worked on with lawmakers before March 20.


11:10 a.m.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the juvenile justice overhaul plan that’s a priority for Gov. Scott Walker and that passed the Assembly unanimously is “not ready for prime time.”

Fitzgerald said Wednesday that not enough information has been gathered about the plan that would close the Lincoln Hills prison by 2021, move serious offenders into state-run prisons and place the rest under control of counties.

Fitzgerald says there are the votes to close Lincoln Hills but the question is what happens after that.

Fitzgerald says the negotiations to create the bill were “horrendous” and it “didn’t go through the right channels” even though Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard was involved.


8:55 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker plans to meet with Republican state senators as several of his legislative priorities, including a child tax rebate and juvenile justice overhaul package, hangs in the balance.

Walker was scheduled to meet privately with senators on Wednesday. They are meeting to figure out which bills they will pass on their final day in session in two weeks.

That includes Walker’s proposal to return $100 for every school-aged child living at home, creating an August sales tax holiday and closing the Lincoln Hills juvenile prison as part of a broader overhaul.

Walker is also negotiating with lawmakers over a school safety package. State Superintendent Tony Evers is asking lawmakers to give districts more than $50 million.

Senate Education Committee chairman Sen. Luther Olsen says he’d like to spend roughly double that.

Update hourly