Sens. Rick Scott & Roger Marshall Lead Bill to Allow Excess COVID Funds for School Safety

June 9, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Roger Marshall and several of their colleagues in introducing the Safe Schools Act. This legislation allows schools to repurpose excess COVID relief dollars that they were previously allocated for important school safety and hardening with measures to keep students and educators safe, including locks, panic buttons, video surveillance and the hiring and paying the salaries of armed school resource officers. This legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Tim Scott, Thom Tillis, Steve Daines, Chuck Grassley, Todd Young, Mike Braun and Jerry Moran. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Congressman Mike Garcia.


Senator Rick Scott said, “In Florida, after the tragic shooting that claimed 17 innocent lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, we took meaningful action and signed sweeping legislation into law to improve school safety and keep our students and educators safe. Every state should be looking at what we did and what action they can take to make sure students feel safe and parents are comfortable sending their kids to school every morning. I’m proud to support this legislation to allow states to use excess, unspent COVID funding to invest in school safety measures.”


Senator Roger Marshall said, “While we made some progress in previous legislation to make our schools stronger, harder, and safer, certainly there is more that can and must be done immediately to protect kids. What happened in Uvalde was a horrific tragedy. While many have been quick to play politics, one thing we can all agree on is that Congress must act to harden schools. For these reasons, I am introducing this legislation that allows the abundance of unused COVID relief dollars to be allocated to secure schools in Kansas and throughout the nation.”


Congressman Mike Garcia said, “Now more than ever, we must be proactive in securing our schools. All Constitutional options need to be examined to ensure our children are safe in the classroom. I’m proud to join Senator Marshall in introducing the Safe Schools Act, a common-sense bill that would allow schools to spend leftover COVID relief funds on crucial security improvements to protect students from harm.”


Senator Tim Scott said, “As the nation continues to mourn the innocent lives taken in Uvalde, leaders have a responsibility to turn our collective grief into real action. This commonsense bill takes an important step in that direction by using unspent COVID money to make schools safer — an absolute no-brainer. I encourage my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill to protect students and teachers.”


Senator Thom Tillis said, “Every child deserves to feel safe and secure at school and should never fear for their lives. The tragedy in Uvalde should never happen again and should be a wake-up call to everyone that our schools should implement the best security measures possible. During the COVID pandemic, school systems across the country received more than $180 billion in COVID relief dollars, and $150 billion of that has yet to be used, so this legislation will allocate unused funds for these necessary security measures. I am proud to introduce this commonsense legislation and I hope to see this bill gain bipartisan support.”


Senator Steve Daines said, “We must secure our schools to help keep kids safe, and we should do so by using unspent COVID relief funds designated for schools to get it done.” 


Senator Todd Young said, “Many schools have unspent funds remaining from various COVID relief measures that could be used for school security measures. The Safe Schools Act is a commonsense step that will make it easier for schools to use these funds to better protect Hoosier students and teachers across Indiana.”


Senator Mike Braun said, “Too often our schools are tragically viewed as ‘soft targets.’ The remaining ‘COVID relief funds that have been largely unused or mismanaged would be well spent protecting our children by hardening schools and bolstering school security.”