As a Houston community college shooting marked the latest episode of campus gun violence, legislation was unveiled at Texas’ Capitol to allow local taxpayers to vote for additional taxes to enhance safety at public elementary and secondary schools, the Austin American-Statesman reports. Under the Texas School District Safety Act, local school districts would be allowed to create special taxing districts or a dedicated sales tax to pay the costs of security — including enhanced screening and security measures at K-12 campuses.
Voters would have to approve a special tax in an election. Before that, a constitutional amendment that requires statewide voter approval might be needed to give local school districts the authority to levy the additional taxes. State Sen. Tommy Williams, said, “This is a Texas solution to save lives without sacrificing and trampling our freedoms, We'll let school districts decide for themselves what works. A blanket state mandate won't work, nor will a one-size-fits-all policy.” (At Lone Star College near Houston, two young men became involved in an argument that ended when one pulled a handgun. Minutes later, the other man and a school maintenance worker lay wounded while panicked students dove for cover amid fears of an unfolding homicidal spree, the Houston Chronicle reports.)