Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Arm Teachers

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This school shooting in Parkland, Florida this week that left 17 people dead took center stage for Alabama lawmakers. On Thursday, Republican state Rep. Will Ainsworth announced plans to introduce legislation that would allow teachers to carry firearms during school hours. The law would require training. But as Don Dailey, host of Alabama Public Television’s Capitol Journal tells WBHM’s Gigi Douban, state lawmakers have been deeply divided over how to keep schools safe.

 

 

 

Democratic lawmakers like Rep. John Rodgers of Birmingham called attention to the proliferation of guns. Other groups spoke in opposition to the bill. Ainsworth is running for lieutenant governor this year.

 

Other highlights:

  • A Senate committee approved a $2 billion general fund budget. If approved, state employees would get a 3 percent raise, the first cost of living increase in about 10 years. Prisons would get an $80 million funding boost. Alabama is under court order to increase staffing and improve mental health care in its prisons.
  • House lawmakers voted to extend the state’s Stand Your Ground law to include churches, allowing church members to defend themselves using deadly force, including with guns. Rep. Lynn Greer sponsored the legislation.
  • The legislature passed a ride-sharing bill that would regulate companies like Uber and Lyft statewide. Under the bill, the state Public Service Commission will issue permits and regulate the companies. It will collect a 1 percent fee on each fare; up to half of the total revenues from that will go to the PSC. The rest goes to the cities and counties where rides originate.

 

 

 

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