© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Texas Governor Set To Release School Safety Proposals

Ryan Poppe
A roundtable discussion on school safety in Austin.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released a list of legislative priorities concerning school safety he’d like to see accomplished during the 2019 legislative session.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office plans to present on Wednesday his set of proposals to keep schools safe and secure from future school shootings.

The presentation follows Patrick's list of legislative changes, which he unveiled last week.

One of Patrick's proposals called for cuts to state funding and incentives for any films and video games made in Texas that portray violence.

Mark Jones, political science professor at Rice University, labeled Patrick’s latest legislative push as “mostly symbolic.”

“In the 2017 session, Lt. Gov. Patrick actually allowed the passage of subsidies of video games and movies, something many freedom caucus members consider to be corporate welfare, but now he’s going to focus in on what that money goes for,” Jones said.

Texas law already restricts state funding for movies and video games that portrays the state in a negative light.

Jones said further restrictions on that funding would require a simple legislative adjustment.

Patrick, in his letter, also called for an expansion of the state’s school marshal program and for there to be more law enforcement groups operating inside Texas schools.

The governor’s list of priorities following his three-day roundtable discussion ranged from providing teachers and school counselors more training to conducting mental health assessment of students to upgrading school entrances and exits to improve on safety and security.

The governor’s office said Abbott’s proposals will come in two forms: changes that can be implemented immediately, and legislation for lawmakers to consider in 2019.

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1