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Bill to fund Office of School Safety signed into law

Source: Wisconsin Department of Justice

Bill to fund Office of School Safety signed into law

The bill overwhelmingly passed in the legislature with bipartisan support.

March 27, 2024 4:01 PM CDT

By: Jimmie Kaska

MADISON, Wis. (Civic Media) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed Assembly Bill 1050 into law on Wednesday, funding the Office of School Safety through the 2024-25 school year.

The office was originally set up with federal funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, but in this year’s biennial budget, no funding was allocated to it after pandemic funds expired.

The Department of Justice administrates the Office of School Safety, which includes the “Speak Up, Speak Out” tip-line that has brought in over 11,000 tips since the office was created in 2018.

“I’m glad that we were able to reach a bipartisan consensus to fund these additional positions so the Office of School Safety can continue their current operations, help prevent school violence, and keep our kids safe, including through the Speak Up, Speak Out tip-line, which provides an important resource for kids, families, educators, and staff alike,” Evers said.

“The Office of School Safety’s proactive and collaborative approach is helping keep kids safe when they’re at school,” Josh Kaul, Wisconsin Attorney General, said. “While there is still work to do to fund the Office of School Safety’s services for the long term, the enactment of this legislation is a critical step forward.”

The bill creates 14.2 full-time equivalent positions in the state’s DOJ and will fund those positions through fees collected on background checks for handgun purchase and licenses to carry concealed weapons.

A.B. 1050, which is now Wisconsin Act 240, passed the Assembly 95-2 in February and the Senate 30-2 earlier this month. The estimated cost of the positions is $927,000 over nine months.

Law enforcement and education lobbying groups were in favor of the bill.

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