Virginia lawmakers will vote this week on school safety legislation

Posted at 11:38 AM, Jan 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-21 16:40:24-05

RICHMOND, Va. - State lawmakers will vote on bills this week to address school safety, House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox announced on Monday morning.

Five bills will be up for votes with other bills making their way through committees.

State lawmakers formed a select committee following the shooting in Parkland, Florida last year, where 17 people were shot and killed.

Here's a breakdown of the bills that will come up for vote this week:

  • HB1725 requires school boards to make sure security enhancements follow building codes. Upgrades can be costly, so the bill makes sure school leaders are talking with building and fire officials to make sure they're compliant with the code.
  • HB1729 requires school counselors to spend at least 80% of their workday directly counseling students. The lawmakers say currently counselors have to spend too much time on administrative tasks.
  • HB1732 says schools need to conduct at least one emergency training drill per year. The lawmakers say there is a need for more emergency preparedness.
  • HB1733 says schools and local law enforcement have to make clear what the expectations and duties are for school resource officers.
  • HB1738 requires a licensed architect to approve plans for new and remodeled schools through the lens of school safety.

House leaders say they have been in talks with Senate leaders and believe the bills will receive bipartisan support.