Political expert says lawmakers couldn't ignore school safety this year

Posted at 5:22 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 17:41:02-05

There are less than two weeks left in the legislative session.

USF Political Science Professor Dr. Susan MacManus said one issue lawmakers pushed to the front of their discussions was school safety. 

RELATED: Governor Scott announces $500M investment to keep Florida students safe

“It’s the first time in forever that we’ve seen so vividly the strong connection between mental illness and violence in the faces of children. That is enough to make the public say 'do something',” Dr. MacManus said.

There have been large rallies in Tallahassee after authorities said a teen shot 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida. Dr. MacManus said some bills have been delayed this legislative session and that is not uncommon, as it happens every legislative session. There is still time for those bills to be heard.

“The public is not going to take no action for an answer. These legislators have to put the public safety of our school children first. The other things can come later,” Dr. MacManus said.

RELATED: I-Team: Legislators rejected additional school safety money for years

She said legislators can work at night and over the weekends too - even go into an extended special session.

“It doesn’t look like some bills that are related to Air BNB’s are going to go through and for some people that’s a great thing that it’s not going through, and for others, who were for some more regulations of it by the state, it’s not a good thing,” Dr. MacManus said.

Dr. MacManus said the only thing the constitution says legislators have to do is pass a budget. 

“All these bills, that’s part of their job, but if they don’t pass them it’s not violative of the constitution. But, if they can’t get a budget passed, that is unconstitutional,” Dr. MacManus said.

Dr. MacManus provided a few links where people can check which bills have been introduced and their status: