Iowa legislature proposes bill following Florida school shooting

Iowa State Capitol

Iowa State Capitol

Devyn Leeson

The Iowa Senate advanced a bill today that would require schools to go through active shooter training, following a school shooting in Florida which left 17 dead.

This bill, Senate File 2253, has mustered up support on both sides one day after Nikolas Cruz pulled a fire alarm and shot students at his former school as they filed out of classrooms

The bill requires schools to set up protocols for school shooters, natural disasters and other emergencies before June 30, 2019. These plans can be given recommendations by the state and must be in compliance with local law enforcement.

With 80 percent of schools in the state currently having protocols for active shooters, legislators realize the need for active shooter trainings but are saddened by the necessity in this day and age.

Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Waterloo, shared his support for the bill on social media: “Today, after another school shooting tragedy in Florida, I voted to require all Iowa K-12 schools to have a plan and practice for active shooter incidents.”

Danielson also stated his concerns for the state moving forward: “I would rather be voting on better mental healthcare, real background checks and greater accountability for assault weapon ownership.”

This stance is one shared by many Democrats in the Iowa Legislature, but Senate and House Republicans don’t completely agree. Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, gave her support for the bill and said she was willing to discuss the mental health issues in the state.

Since the shooting Wednesday, no legislation has been pursued that would tighten gun laws in the state, and with the first legislative deadline closing, in it is unlikely any new bills are coming for the 2018 session.