The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

February 7, 2013

Alabama House Democrats: Put officer in each school



MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama House Democrats say a top priority for the Legislature's 2013 session is a proposal to put an armed police officer in each of the approximately 1,500 public schools in Alabama.

Representative Merika Coleman-Evans of Birmingham says the measure is aimed at preventing incidents like the recent school shootings in Connecticut. A number of proposals have been made on how to make schools safer including training some school teachers and arming them. But Coleman-Evans said she believes hiring resource officers in each school makes the most sense.

"This would help make sure every student is safe," she said.

Some Alabama schools already have resource officers.

At a news conference Wednesday, House Democrats also proposed creating a statewide lottery. House Minority Leader Craig Ford of Gadsden said proceeds from the lottery would be used to pay the estimated $20 million cost of placing a resource officer in every school that doesn't currently have one. Ford said proceeds from the lottery would also be used to pay for scholarships for Alabama high School graduates.

Ford said the lottery could provide scholarships to A/B honor roll students in Alabama. He said the money could also be used to increase per diem for classroom supplies to each teacher from $300 to $1,000.

The lottery proposal would have to be approved by Alabama voters. In 1999 voters turned down a proposal to create a lottery by then- Gov. Don Siegelman.

The lottery and school safety bills were part of a package of priorities announced by House Democrats during a Statehouse news conference Wednesday.

Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn criticized the Democratic proposals.

"The Democrats' legislative agenda is a checklist of tax and spend measures that would make Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid proud," Hubbard said. "Rather than proposing real reforms, the House Democrats simply want to roll the dice on legalized gambling, throw more money into bloated entitlement programs and demand higher taxes from businesses at a time when we should be encouraging job creation, not discouraging it."

Other priorities announced by Democrats include giving teachers and other school employees a 10 percent pay raise.

Democrats also proposed legislation to close corporate tax loopholes.

Rep. Joe Hubbard, D-Montgomery, said he will offer legislation to raise the tax on cigarettes by one dollar a pack as a way to mend the state's cash-strapped General Fund budget.

1
Text Only
Local News
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee