MSP Archbishop calls on lawmakers to convene special session, pass Safe Schools legislation

In the wake of recent mass shootings, Catholic archbishops across the country are remembering the lives lost while calling for something to be done.

That includes St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop Bernard Hebda, who is calling on Governor Tim Walz and leaders in St. Paul to convene a special session and pass Safe Schools legislation.

The proposal, which was stalled during this year’s session, would give a permanent funding stream to all schools, including tribal, private and charter schools, for security enhancements, violence prevention and mental health programs. In 2019, the legislature passed a one-time Safe Schools program funding to public schools.

"We are always hopeful, but we’re not optimistic, that right now there’s a political will or the ability to find common ground on some of those questions (regarding gun control). What we can do right now and what we should find common ground on is Safe Schools legislation," said Jason Adkins, who is the executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, which advocates for policies on behalf of the Catholic Church.

Adkins says the organization has also supported some gun safety measures, like red flag laws, in the past.

In the event of a special session, the fate of the proposed Safe Schools legislation, and any gun control measures, are still uncertain with a DFL-controlled House and a GOP-controlled Senate.