Idaho lawmakers will once again debate the policy they approved earlier this year allowing guns on college campuses. Five schools are asking lawmakers to approve $1.5 million in emergency spending for campus security in the current budget year, according to information from the governor’s Division of Financial Management.
Two community colleges are pressing for cash: North Idaho College wants $258,400; the College of Western Idaho wants $118,800; three universities are also angling for money: Boise State University has requested the most, $592,600; Idaho State University has asked for $332,800; the University of Idaho wants $241,800.
The University of Idaho’s request specifically asks for “a more comprehensive campus security surveillance system as well as expanded non-armed presence on campus in response to Senate Bill 1254 and in order to increase the overall safety of the campus.” The university has additional spending requested for the following budget year.
All this means that the 2015 debate over campus weapons will take place. The discussion may be confined to the Legislature’s budget committee, but it will happen, because the schools will need to explain what they’ve asked for and why.
And legislators, hopefully, will be understandably curious why schools are so fearful of licensed gun holders when they didn’t ask for similar appropriations when universities nationwide grappled with a spate of campus shootings starting with Virginia Tech in 2007.
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.