New legislation to provide safety at schools sits in the Illinois House waiting for a vote from lawmakers. Officer Mark Dallas, the man who sprung into action and prevented a potentially fatal school shooting at Dixon High School hopes lawmakers move quickly so resources can be provided before it’s too late.
“Within seconds of the first gun shot, I responded,” said Ofc. Mark Dallas. “There is no time to spare when children’s lives are at risk.”
Two months after the incident at Dixon High School, Illinois House Bill 5887 has been introduced to the general assembly but a vote has yet to be made. At a press conference in Dixon, Governor Bruce Rauner (R-IL) urged lawmakers to pass the bill. It would allow districts to put a referendum on the ballot, that would allow local sales taxes to pay for school resource officers and mental health professionals.
“I think especially kids that age they’re going through things that adults may not look are as bad,” said Resident Paul Rogers. “It’ll help the situation.” There is a law already in place that gives tax money to local school districts. However, HB5887 would allow specific funding to pay for the new staffing.
“Each community can choose how much they want to pay and background and level of expertise and how many individuals to be involved,” said Gov. Rauner.
“It’s money to a good place so it shouldn’t really matter,” said Rogers. “As long as my kids are safe that’s all that matters.”
Officer Mark Dallas hopes changes in Springfield are made soon to keep students and faculties safe in their schools. “There must be no delay in the support for school resource officers,” said Ofc. Dallas. “Time is not a luxury enjoyed by our children when they are staring down the barrel of a gun.”
The Governor will consider calling a special session, but as for now, conversations are still ongoing with members of the general assembly.
Gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker responded to Eyewitness News request for comment on the bill.
A spokesman with the campaign says in part:
“As governor, JB will prioritize common sense gun safety legislation and work to fully fund our schools so they have the resources they need to create an environment where every student can thrive.”