Contributed article by the Illinois House Repulicans.
In response to an increase in school violence and shootings, State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) co-sponsored legislation in the Illinois House that would provide school districts with additional flexibility to hire school resource officers or mental health professionals.
HB 3244 would allow school districts in counties that impose a school facility tax to put a referendum question before voters to allow a portion of the funds to be used to support the hiring of school resource officers.
Representative Bourne stated, “School resource officers play an important role in securing school facilities and keeping students safe. This bill will give school districts the flexibility they need, to use existing funds to hire a school resource officer.”
Currently, 52 of Illinois’ 102 counties have chosen to impose a school facilities tax, and the funds are limited to use only for school facility purposes. HB 3244 would amend the Counties Code to allow a portion of the school facilities tax funds to be used for the hiring of school resource officers or mental health professionals.
Representative Bourne was the chief sponsor of this bill last session but it unfortunately did not move through the General Assembly. She is relieved to see a bill to bring flexibility to school districts finally move through the Legislature. This bill, HB 3244, has passed the Illinois House and is now waiting for consideration in the Senate.