Wyoming lawmakers are considering a bill that would pay for additional security at the state’s community colleges.
The bill, House Bill 203, would allocate the $6 million needed and make it available for seven community colleges throughout the state to use until the end of June 2026.
According to Powell Rep. David Northrup, the community colleges would then be required to apply for grants and funding from other sources and Wyoming’s $6 million would be used to match the resources the community colleges found elsewhere.
Northrup, the bill’s sponsor and the chairman of the House Education Committee, said community colleges have been left out of discussions on security.
The colleges would have the opportunity to find and double the security funding under the proposed bill, he said.
Under House Bill 203, for every dollar the community colleges raise up to $6 million would be matched by the state, according to the Casper Star Tribune.
After June 2026, whatever state funding remains under the proposed bill would go back to the state legislature.
The bill does not say what the security funding is required to be spent on besides “safety and security improvements” to the state’s community college campuses. Wyoming Community College Commission would create rules that would assist the school’s work, Northrup said.
Safety in Wyoming’s K-12 and higher ed systems has been a popular topic in recent months, after the deadly high school shootings in Texas and Florida. After the 2018 legislative session, two different committees analyzed school safety. More recently, a more comprehensive bill that would mandate training and other security planning passed through the Wyoming Senate and will end up in the House Education Committee soon.