A proposal to allow school districts to have armed personnel on campus cleared a major hurdle Friday in the South Dakota legislature, the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, S.D. reported.
By a 5-4 vote, House Bill 1087 passed out of the Senate State Affairs Bill and will now be considered by the full state Senate.
The legislation, known colloquially as the "school sentinels bill," already easily passed the state House of Representatives, where Republicans are in the majority, last month.If it receives approval by the GOP-controlled state Senate, the legislation will move to the desk of Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), who has spoken positively about the proposal but has not said publicly whether or not he will sign the bill.
The bill would authorize school districts and law enforcement to arm sentinels at local schools. The bill requires the sentinels to be approved by law enforcement and trained by state officials.
Supporters of the bill have stressed that they are not forcing the sentinel programs on any school districts.
"For the schools that do not want ever to have anybody armedthey should want this bill," state Rep. Scott Craig (R) said. "It is this bill that guarantees that they make the decision to never have anyone armed."