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Senator Rick Scott wants to take $80B from IRS to fund armed officers in schools

Posted at 7:31 AM, Apr 25, 2023

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla., is urging Congress to reroute the billions of dollars earmarked for the Internal Revenue Service in the Inflation Reduction Act into money to hire armed officers for academic campuses across the country.

“Instead of spending billions of dollars to expand the IRS to go after American taxpayers, Washington can send a powerful message to parents about our true priorities by dedicating these funds to the School Guardian Act to provide block grants to states so they can increase school security at every school and keep kids safe. I hope my colleagues agree and support its quick passage.”
Senator Rick Scott

Under the proposed legislation called "The School Guardian Act", there will be a trained law enforcement officer in every school across the country. It would create a block grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Justice to support the hiring of one or more law enforcement officers to provide full-time security at every K-12 school in the country.

According to Scott, this bill builds on his efforts as Governor of Florida to improve school safety with increased law enforcement and security measures following the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.

Nikolas Cruz opened fire on students and staff and killed 17 people and injured 17 others.

Scott says he will work across the aisle, Republicans and Democrats, to get this passed to protect the safety of children at school.

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk says he supports having a trained law enforcement officer on school grounds to protect and serve in case of an emergency.

Scott said that his forthcoming bill aims to extend grant money to private and religious schools, not just institutions that run on federal funds.

"I cannot stress enough that this funding should be available to ALL schools. After our Jewish Days Schools in Florida were facing an influx of threats, we also specifically allocated funding to increase security at these schools," Scott said. "Our religious schools need to be protected and that is why my legislation will make sure it allows all schools to use these dollars."

This bill is endorsed by Stand with Parkland, the Florida Sheriffs Association, and the Florida Police Chiefs Association.

The School Guardian Act includes the following:

  • Create a block grant program administered by the U.S. Attorney General to provide federal funding to support the placement of armed law enforcement personnel at every K-12 school in the nation. This would be funded by reallocating currently unused portions of the $80 billion appropriated to the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act.
    • These block grants would be administered at the state level by a state’s chief law enforcement agency;
    • All K-12 schools (both public and private) are eligible to participate in and benefit from this program; and
    • Unused/unobligated portions of the block grant must be returned to DOJ by the state at the end of each fiscal year.
  • Set forth reporting requirements from each state to the DOJ as well as an annual report from DOJ to Congress documenting the number of law enforcement officers hired using grant monies, as well as the total amount of unused funds returned by the states in the prior fiscal year, disaggregated by state.