As part of the attempt to protect New York State from gun violence, Governor Cuomo has signed into law the NY SAFE Act (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act). One provisions of the act is to keep guns out of schools:
Under the legislation, the penalty for possession of a firearm on school grounds or a school bus will be increased from a misdemeanor to a Class E Felony. The state’s SAVE Act (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education) requires school districts to develop school safety plans including evacuation, dismissal, community response, and alerting family, law enforcement and other schools in the area in the event of a violent incident or other emergency. The legislation will allow school districts to submit their school safety plans to a newly created New York State School Safety Improvement Team, consisting of representatives from state agencies with relevant expertise (e.g. DHSES, State Police, DCJS), which will review plans and assist localities in developing plans. Some designated safety system improvements will be eligible for enhanced re-imbursement under the state’s School Building Aid formula. New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers and Syracuse will be exempted.
According to NYSED, Projects eligible for aid include the purchase and installation of:
Internal Security Cameras
Access Control Systems: These May include
-an Intercom to speak with visitors
-remote electronic door unlatching systems
-interface with the building management system and
-central lockdown buttons, etc
Non public school projects will be funded according to the following methodology:
1. Schools will be reimbursed for approved expenses, up to a ceiling amount
2. The ceiling amount will be determined by a per pupil allocation
3. Per-pupil allocation will be determined by the school’s official pre-kindergarten through grade 12 enrollment submitted as part of the BEDS data collection for the 2012-13 school year. The allocation amounts are listed on the Department’s website.
4. For 2013-14, all expenses would have to occur on or before March 31, 2014.
5. Claims must be filed by April 15, 2014
Schools will be eligible to receive funding for approved projects up to the amount of:
$9.70x P-12 enrollment reported on their 2012-13 BEDS forms.
Other key provisions of the NY SAFE Act include, mental health alert, tougher assault weapons ban, stronger regulations on ammunition, statewide recertification of handguns and assault weapons, universal background checks, Webster provision, extending and strengthening Kendra’s law, protecting families, safe storage, and tougher penalties for illegal gun use.