Bill would allow counties to fund school security

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County voters could decide to levy a special property tax to pay for public school security under a measure filed Tuesday in the House, reports the News Service of Florida.

The measure, HB 873, would allow a county commission to establish a special taxing district to pay for school security and mental health services. Taxes of up to 0.5 mils or 50 cents for each $1,000 of assessed property value, could be levied only if voters in the county approve the tax increase in a referendum. Sponsored by Rep. Jim Waldman the bill mirrors a Senate proposal (SB 514) filed earlier this month by Sen. Eleanor Sobel.

The measures come as lawmakers debate whether heightened security is needed at Florida’s public schools and who pays for it in the wake of the tragic shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. that took the lives of 20 students.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.