Haslam proposes $30 million budget to boost school safety

Governor Bill Haslam speaks during a press conference to unveil plans to build the new five-seat Atlas in Chattanooga at the Volkswagen Conference Center on Monday, March 19, 2018 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing $30 million to boost school safety across the state in a proposed budget amendment.

The recommendation comes as the governor's working group plans to hold its final meeting later this week.

Haslam told reporters this morning he needed to have a figure now to provide state legislators as he presents the customary administration budget amendment.

The safety grant includes a one-time $25 million grant with $5.2 million in recurring grants.

Another provision would provide $3 million in grants for school bus seat belts.

Finance Commissioner Larry Martin later told the Senate Finance Committee that the $5.2 million in new recurring dollars for school safety will be combined with another $4.8 million in existing recurring funds.

School safety concerns have soared nationally since the February mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school which left 17 students and staff dead.

The $3 million to help interested school districts purchase buses equipped with safety belts comes as Hamilton County legislators push a measure following a fatal 2016 school bus crash in Chattanooga that left six Woodmore Elementary students dead.

Haslam's total budget amendment includes $74 million in nonrecurring funds and $9.8 million recurring money.