Department of public safety - division of homeland security and emergency management - school access for emergency response grant program creation - appropriation. The school access for emergency response grant program (grant program) is created in the division of homeland security and emergency management (division) in the department of public safety (department). Grant recipients may use the money received through the grant program to deliver training programs to teach effective communications with first responders in an emergency, to implement an interoperable technology solution to provide or upgrade a system for effective communication with first responders in an emergency, to maintain, improve, or provide interoperable communications hardware or software, and for any necessary radio system capacity expansions where school loading has been determined to have a significant impact on public safety system loading.
The division, in consultation with the grant selection committee created in the act, is required to implement the grant program and, subject to available appropriations, award grants to be paid from the grant program fund. The director of the division is required to promulgate rules necessary to implement the grant program. The grant selection committee is required to work with the director of the division to determine whether a grant applicant satisfies the criteria to receive a grant.
To be eligible to receive a grant, a school district, school, charter school of the district, institute charter school, or state charter school institute must have a memorandum of understanding with its regional public safety 911 answering point or the local law enforcement agency that serves the school for communications interoperability and must submit an application, including specified information, to the division. The grant selection committee is required to review the applications received and consider certain criteria in awarding the grants. Each grant recipient is required to submit a report to the division and the department is required to provide an annual update to the general assembly regarding the grant program.
The grant program cash fund is created in the state treasury, and the state treasurer is required to transfer $5 million from the state public school fund to the fund for each of the next 6 state fiscal years. For the 2018-19 state fiscal year, $5 million is appropriated from the fund to the department of public safety to implement the act.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)