The Latest: Students against gun violence rally at Capitol
Mar. 07, 2018
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Mark Dayton's proposal to improve school safety (all times local):
Students are converging on the Minnesota Capitol to protest gun violence.
St. Paul police estimate 2,000 students from around the metro area marched to the Capitol on Wednesday, and more than 5,000 people rallied on the steps.
The Star Tribune reports that students at Cretin-Derham Hall and St. Paul Central joined forces to drive the rally. Clare Fitzpatrick, an 18-year-old senior at Cretin-Derham, said students have "waited for something to change, and nothing has changed."
She says students want the Legislature to act.
The march came the same day Gov. Mark Dayton proposed $21 million in new funding for security enhancements and mental health improvements in schools. But the Legislature has also sidetracked a pair of Democratic-sponsored gun bills already this session.
Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing $21 million in new funding for security enhancements and mental health improvements in Minnesota schools.
The Democratic governor unveiled his proposal Wednesday to give schools dedicated funds for improvements like bulletproof glass and secure entrances. School safety is in the spotlight after the recent deadly school shooting in Florida.
Republicans who control the Minnesota Legislature have suggested similar funding. Dayton's plan also expands mental health services in schools and directs school districts to share information on expelled students.
The governor says it's the state's responsibility to prevent a tragedy in Minnesota schools.
Dayton is separately calling for stricter gun laws like expanding background checks and raising the age to buy assault weapons to 21. Those measures face stiff odds in the GOP-controlled Legislature.
Gov. Mark Dayton is ready to lay out his plan to fund safety and security improvements in schools across Minnesota.
The Democratic governor was expected to release his plan Wednesday. It's likely to include funding to help schools cover costs, but could also be paired with a push to change the state's gun laws.
School safety measures are a rare shared priority with the Republican-controlled Legislature after last month's deadly school shooting in Florida. Lawmakers have suggested they'll create a new fund or repurpose existing funding sources to help schools pay for security improvements.
Dayton and the Legislature could use a modest budget surplus for the funding. The state projects a $329 million surplus for the remainder of the state's budget cycle.