Thursday, January 17, 2013

Campbell introduces bills to enhance school safety, curtail gun violence

Campbell introduces bills to enhance school safety, curtail gun violence


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today, House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), introduced a series of bills that will enact the provisions of a plan he outlined last week that is designed to enhance school safety, provide more mental health services and promote responsible gun ownership.


"I am introducing a package of bills today that, if enacted, will provide a comprehensive approach to protecting our schools and communities from gun violence perpetrated by those who have, too often, slipped through the cracks of our legal or mental health systems," Campbell said. "My plan increases school safety and security, provides mental health services and interventions to stop those with severe mental health issues from having access to firearms, and ensures only those who can pass a background check have access to the most deadly guns."

Bills in Campbell's "Safer Schools, Safer Communities Plan" include:



HB 2374 - school safety program; funding; expansion

HB 2375 - behavioral health services; appropriation

HB 2083 - RBHA; treatment outcomes; measurement tools

HB 2376 - mandatory mental health evaluation; admission

HB 2377 - prohibited possessor; voluntary commitment; restoration

HB 2378 - destruction; forfeited or unclaimed firearms

HB 2379 - prohibited possessor; order of protection

HB 2380 - concealed carry; permit requirements; offense

HB 2381 - firearms; sales; transfers; background checks

Additionally, Campbell says he backs a plan, recently endorsed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer, to fully fund the expansion of Medicaid services to those with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to provide mental health services to people in this population. Campbell did not introduce a specific bill on this issue because the legislature will have to consider it as part of the state budget package later this year.

"The governor’s Medicaid expansion proposal suggests that a hospital provider assessment financing mechanism be utilized to cover the $138 million cost, and I am open to considering that as well as other funding options," Campbell said. "It is a positive sign that the governor appears to support more funding for school resource officers and Medicaid expansion. A common sense, bipartisan plan to address the threat of gun violence to our schools and communities is what the public wants, and maybe the time has finally come in Arizona where we can give them the action they demand.”


A brief summary of each bill that Campbell introduced is below .

The Arizona Safer Schools, Safer Communities Plan

Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24)
Minority Leader – Arizona House of Representatives


The Arizona Safer Schools, Safer Communities Plan will:



Make school sites safer ($100 million total cost upon full implementation in 3 years):

HB 2374 - school safety program; funding; expansion

1) Triples the funding for the existing School Safety Program that funds on-campus School Resource Officers (SROs). Currently, this program receives about $8 million in funding. Under my proposal, it would receive $25 million annually (a $17 million increase) to allow more SROs to be placed on school sites.



2) Creates infrastructure within the Arizona Department of Education’s School Safety and Prevention Unit to coordinate statewide trainings and provide technical assistance to district, charter and private schools for emergency response planning and threat assessment. My plan would allocate $1 million annually for this work.



3) Requires each school district and all charter schools to conduct and update regularly a comprehensive threat assessment (if they haven’t already done so) and identify what is needed to provide adequate security at each of their school sites.



4) Establishes a school safety fund of $20 million that will provide competitive grant money to enhance school security measures and equipment based on the needs identified in the school site threat assessment and emergency response plan and training.



5) Doubles the number of school counselors to provide more mental health professionals in the school setting to help identify children who may need services and intervention. The total approximate cost of my proposal is $62 million and this amount will be phased in over 3 years to allow adequate implementation time.



Address the needs of the mentally ill ($161 million total cost):

HB 2375 - behavioral health services; appropriation

Fully funds Non-Title XIX services for the Seriously Mentally Ill (SMI) at the 2009 levels at a cost of $23 million. This will ensure all services previously provided under the Arnold v. Sarn lawsuit settlement will again be made available to all who are eligible.



HB 2083 – RBHA; treatment outcomes; measurement tools

Reforms the mental health care system to incorporate incentives for providers to produce positive outcomes - such as stability in housing, employment/education, and lower involvement in crime and the criminal justice system - for the clients they serve.



(NO LEGISLATION – will be a budget issue)

Support full expansion of Medicaid coverage to individuals with an income up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL). This will ensure access to mental health services for all individuals in this population through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). The estimated cost for the first year of this coverage is $138 million. My proposal is consistent with Governor Brewer’s plan to expand Medicaid, announced during her State of the State address on Monday, January 14, 2013. The Governor’s proposal suggests that a hospital provider assessment financing mechanism will be utilized to cover the $138 million cost, and I am open to considering that as well as other funding options.



Ensure gun ownership is safe:

HB 2376 - mandatory mental health evaluation; admission

Requires law enforcement who come into contact with an armed person who appears to be a threat to him/herself or others to temporarily seize the firearm and initiate a court hearing process to determine whether that person should be a “prohibited possessor.” The “prohibited possessor” list is a list of those persons prohibited from possessing firearms.



HB 2377 - prohibited possessor; voluntary commitment; restoration

Establishes a court hearing process for voluntarily committed persons to determine whether they should be “prohibited possessors.” Arizona law currently prohibits possession of a firearm by any person who has been found to constitute a danger to him/herself or others pursuant to a court order.



HB 2378 - destruction; forfeited or unclaimed firearms

Ensures that local government agencies can adopt ordinances to allow for the disposal of guns they obtain through seizure, forfeiture or abandonment, including through firearm “buy back” programs.



HB 2379 – prohibited possessor; order of protection

Adds to the “prohibited possessor” list, persons who have an order of protection issued against them which has been issued after a full judicial proceeding where both parties were present.



HB 2380 - concealed carry; permit requirements; offense

Reinstates the training and other requirements that were in place previous to 2010 related to receiving a permit to carry a concealed firearm (CCW permit). Failure to comply with these requirements would be a criminal offense.



HB 2381 - firearms; sales; transfers; background checks

1) Closes the “gun show” loophole by requiring sales and transfers to take place through a federally licensed firearms dealer to ensure all background checks and other requirements are met. Failure to comply with the requirement to use a licensed firearms dealer for the transaction would be a criminal offense.



2) Requires that person-to-person sales, loans and transfers of any firearms defined as “assault weapons” be processed by a licensed dealer to ensure all background checks and other requirements are met. Failure to comply with the requirement to use a licensed firearm dealer for the transaction would be a criminal offense. For providing this service to private parties, licensed dealers will be permitted to charge no more than $50 (in addition to any government-imposed background check or other required fees). Weapons passed down to family members as family heirlooms and keepsakes would be exempt from this requirement.

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