Bill Galvano
File Photo

As students across Florida start the new school year, incoming Senate President Bill Galvano wants lawmakers to think about expanding the school safety efforts approved during the 2018 legislative session after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

In a series of tweets Tuesday, the Bradenton Republican implored senators to look more at school safety.

“As incoming Senate President of the third-largest state in the nation – a bellwether for others – I am committed to making sure our re-examination of school safety policies does not end here,” Galvano tweeted. “Some issues simply must transcend politics. The safety of our children is one.”

In the 2018 session, lawmakers approved a wide-ranging, $400 million measure (SB 7026) measure that includes requiring schools to have safety officers, bolstering mental-health services and upgrading protections through school “hardening” projects.

The law also allows includes-gun related changes, such as adding a three-day waiting period for all firearm purchases and increasing from 18 to 21 the minimum age to buy rifles and other long guns. The National Rifle Association has filed a lawsuit challenging the age change.

“We cannot be complacent, or think our work is done — we must continually review existing policies and encourage new ideas to keep our students safe,” Galvano continued in his tweets. “Florida’s experiences and reforms should be shared and exported to other states. 6 months later, as millions of students begin a new school year, we cannot help but reflect back on that heartbreaking day. As we do, we can mark this moment as a time when grief galvanized action, and we were not immobilized by our differences.”

Galvano, who helped spearhead the school-safety bill, is set to take over from Senate President Joe Negron after the November election.

Jim Turner is a Capitol reporter for the News Service of Florida, providing coverage on issues ranging from transportation and the environment to Legislative and Cabinet politics, which are some of the areas he worked in 20 years with TCPalm in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Jim grew up in Millburn, New Jersey, where he started his journalism career providing weekly reports on the high school soccer team --- of which he was a member--- to the local Millburn Item. Jim received degrees in journalism and history from High Point University in North Carolina.