For most of the 2018 session, Washington State Catholic Conference focused on SB 6410 because of its language requiring emergency notifications for Catholic schools and other private schools when nearby public schools are alerted of an emergency situation. When that bill failed to pass out of the House Education Committee (despite unanimous support in the Senate), the WSCC looked for alternative legislation that could serve as a vehicle for the notification language. Such a bill, SB 6620, was introduced late in the session that not only addresses school safety but also adds measures to curb gun violence in the wake of the recent Florida school shooting. The WSCC emergency notification language has been included in SB 6620. The Senate Ways & Means Committee approved it on March 1 and it is now awaiting a vote by the full Senate.
School Safety (SB 6410) requires first responders to notify all schools (public or private) in the vicinity whenever an evacuation or lockdown is ordered at a nearby school. After unanimously passing the full Senate, the House Education Committee failed to vote on it prior to the February 23, 2018 cutoff. While this is a significant setback, Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC) is continuing efforts to have this important safety language that is critical for Catholic schools approved before the end of the session.
Call State Representatives
Please contact your state representatives and urge them to support this important school safety measure. Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
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