School-safety bill clears committee deadline

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Senate Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously late Tuesday to advance Senate Bill 6410, concerning school safety.

Under the measure, sponsored by Spokane Valley Sen. Mike Padden, first responders would be required to notify both public and private schools during any situation in their vicinity that would warrant an evacuation or lockdown.

The bill would also create two school safety centers – one in eastern Washington and one in western Washington. 

“Many times schools have to call law enforcement for information about emergencies when it should be the other way around,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “The bill would help increase safety in all schools, public and private, and it takes a proactive approach by requiring law enforcement to notify schools in these critical, sometimes life-and-death situations.

“I’m pleased that my colleagues on both the K-12 policy committee and the Ways and Means fiscal committee have advanced this bill, and I look forward to the full Senate having an opportunity to approve it soon.”

The bill now goes to the Senate Rules Committee – the final stop before a full vote of the Senate.