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2/21/2018 Rep. Nardolillo Calls for Greater School Security Funds Safety Improvements with Smoking Tax
STATE HOUSE -- State Representative Robert Nardolillo III (R District 28 – Coventry) is calling on the house and senate finance committee leaders to support the creation of a fund for school security using revenues generated from taxes on cigarettes.

In the wake of national tragedies including the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida, school districts around the country have taken steps to increase security. Some have called for armed officers or even members of the National Guard to be stationed in every school while others have advocated for less invasive measures like cameras and additional locks.

“Our schools should be a safe and secure place for students. We need long term solutions to protect our children and we need a comprehensive plan to fund it. Anyone can propose an idea but we need to be able to pay for it,” stated Rep. Nardolillo.

Rep. Nardolillo wants to give school districts the resources they need to put security measures in place that match their individual needs. To fund these upgrades, Rep. Nardolillo would call for the state to increase the tax on cigarettes an additional $0.25 per pack on top of the governor’s proposed tax increase. The money generated from this tax would be intended for school security improvements and not be placed in the general fund, but rather a special restricted account. School districts would need to apply for funding by submitting security improvement proposals and none of the money in this fund would be allowed for other projects.

“School districts have an in-depth knowledge of the security issues they face and what would work best for them. I would rather listen instead of saddling them with another cost. These improvements could help prevent a tragedy like the one we saw in Florida but they will also help reduce the everyday problems schools face like bullying,” said Rep. Nardolillo.

For more information, contact:
Ian O'Connor, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903