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Legislative Update

Bill to temporarily fund OSS receives a public hearing in both chambers

by | Feb 8, 2024 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

This week, a bill that would fund the Office of School Safety (OSS) through Sept. 2025 received a public hearing in both the Senate and Assembly. AB 1050 / SB 955, authored by Sen. Romaine Quinn (R-Cameron) and Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville), would allow DOJ and the OSS to use revenue generated from concealed carry permits to fund the office. This came after efforts by Sen. Quinn & Rep. Novak to have the office funded in the 2023-25 state budget were unsuccessful. The WASB supports the services the OSS provides to our members and thanks these lawmakers for their efforts. We urge both houses of the legislature to approve this legislation before the end of this session and for Gov. Evers to sign it into law.

While this legislation is important to keep the OSS running, these funds are only a stop gap measure. Earlier this session, the Attorney General announced that one time federal stimulus dollars would be used to fund the office through December 2024. Even if this bill were to pass, it is important legislators include permanent funding in the 2025-27 state budget to keep the office functioning.

AB 1050/SB 955: Office of School Safety

From an LRB analysis:Under current law, there is the Office of School Safety in the Department of Justice. This bill increases the number of positions for the office by 14.2 project positions starting January 1, 2025, and ending September 30, 2025. The bill provides funding for the positions from the fees that DOJ collects for issuing licenses to carry concealed weapons.”

WASB Resolution Adopted at the 2024 Delegate Assembly

The WASB supports state funding and staff to maintain the functions of the Office of School Safety, including but not limited to grants for schools, trainings for school staff and law enforcement on preventing and mitigating school violence, and maintenance of the 24-hour hotline to confidentially report potential threats.

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