RICHMOND (AP/WAVY) - Republican legislative leaders say they will propose funding to put more safety officers in Virginia schools.
House Speaker Bill Howell and other GOP leaders announced the initiative Thursday in response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.
A spokesman for Howell said lawmakers haven't decided yet how much additional money to request, so it's unclear how many new positions would be created.
Howell said legislators must look at everything they can to make sure schools are safe, including evaluating mental health and gun laws.
Some Democratic legislators already have called for tighter gun control, while Gov. Bob McDonnell and some fellow Republicans suggest allowing school personnel to carry guns might deter attacks.
Gov. McDonnell issued an executive order Thursday establishing a multidisciplinary campus safety task force. He also established a separate mental health workgroup chaired by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel.
"I have ordered a detailed and thorough review of school and campus safety to identify areas of needed improvement and critical resource needs at the state, local, school division and college/university levels to ensure that we are doing everything humanly possible to keep our children, young people, educators, administrators and staff safe while they are in the classroom and on our campuses," said Gov. McDonnell.
Executive Order 56 states that the task force must send its initial recommendations no later than January 31, 2013 so they can be considered in the upcoming General Assembly session.
The full text of Executive Order 56 can be found here: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/PolicyOffice/ExecutiveOrders/
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.