In a follow-up to last year's school safety law, the Kentucky Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation Monday to require that police officers be armed when assigned to schools, reports the Associated Press.
The measure stems from the 2018 shooting at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky. Two students, Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, were killed and more than a dozen others were injured.
Senators voted 34-1 Monday to send the bill to the House.
Last year's sweeping school safety initiative did not specify whether school police officers needed to carry a weapon. The new legislation would add the requirement that all school-based officers — known as school resource officers—be armed.
Republican Sen. Max Wise, the bill's lead sponsor, said Monday that students deserve the same type of protection given lawmakers at the state Capitol.
Under the new measure, at least one officer would be assigned to each school campus. The bill would allow local districts to decide on uniforms and whether the officers will have arrest powers.
Last year's safety law also set the goal of having at least one counselor for every 250 students. The new legislation would widen the scope to include more mental health professionals, such as school-based psychologists and social workers.
That law—intended to boost police protection and counseling and increase physical security of school campuses—came with no money. Lawmakers put off funding decisions until considering a new state budget later this year.