Texas House Speaker suggests investment in safety, mental health
Two weeks ago, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick proposed spending $50 million on bulletproof shields for school police departments.
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan proposed spending more than $100 million on safety and mental health programs for schools following the May 24 Uvalde shooting.
A breakdown of the million-dollar recommendation includes an added $37.5 million of annual funding to the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine program, an annual $10.5 million for “pediatric crisis stabilization and response” teams and $7 million for every Texas school district to receive active-shooter training from the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University, according to the Tribune. The money would come from state funding.
Phelan also supports Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s proposal to invest $50 million in bulletproof shields for school police departments.
“I believe our respective chambers have the obligation to take immediate, concrete action with the goal of making our schools as safe as possible before the start of the upcoming school year,” Phelan said in a Monday letter to Patrick. “Your recommendation to dedicate $50 million toward outfitting local school law enforcement with bulletproof shields is a worthwhile goal to that end, and you have my full support in that endeavor.”
Because the budget-setting Legislature will not be in session until January, The Texas Tribune reported that a “budget execution” will be needed to redirect funds toward Phelan’s proposed programs. This process, according to the Tribune, “allows lawmakers to take money that’s already been appropriated and redirect it to another source.”
Phelan, Patrick and budget-writing committee leaders from each chamber must approve Phelan’s proposal for it to take affect.