AUGUSTA – State House leaders are expected Tuesday to decide whether to allow emergency bills to boost security at public schools and ban bump stocks in Maine to move forward after a school shooter in Florida this month killed 17 people.

The bills, one offered by Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland, and the other offered by Rep. Patrick Corey, R-Windham, appear to be their respective party’s responses to the school shooting.

The 10-member Legislative Council, which includes an equal number of Republicans and Democratic State House leaders, was scheduled to meet this afternoon to consider several bills for last-minute inclusion in a legislative session set to end in April.

Other bills the council could consider include a proposal by Rep. Heather Sanborn, D-Portland, to limit the size of ammunition magazines. Sen. James Hamper, R-Oxford, also has two bills that focus on mental health, including one to increase that availability of providers and another that would seek to build community education programs to raise awareness of those who may be a danger to themselves or others.

Another bill being offered by state Rep. Rich Cebra, R-Naples, is titled, “An Act to Improve the Safety of Maine Students,” but the details of that proposal were not immediately available.

Meanwhile, Gov. Paul LePage told a Fox News host Monday night that he agreed with President Trump’s position that public school staff who wanted to or were trained to should be allowed to carry guns at school.

LePage also told host Neil Cavuto that he believes background checks for gun purchases should be expanded to more broadly include mental health issues.

“And I said to the president today, I think we need to take a look at our federal laws,” LePage said. “And I think that mental illness is a big problem, that we just look the other way. And when we look the other way, people die.”

Maine State House is the state capitol of the State of Maine in Augusta, Maine, USA.


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