School districts across the state might soon be able to commission their own police officers, a power that at the moment only one district – Blue Springs – holds.



The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Springs, was passed by the General Assembly in the session that just ended, and it sits on Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk for approval or veto.

School districts across the state might soon be able to commission their own police officers, a power that at the moment only one district – Blue Springs – holds.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Springs, was passed by the General Assembly in the session that just ended, and it sits on Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk for approval or veto.

Solon said groups representing school boards, school administrators, teachers and police chiefs supported the bill in the legislature.

“So it had very widespread support, and I believe the governor will sign it,” she said.

The idea picked up momentum after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last December.

“It’s another way to keep our schools safe,” Solon said.

The Blue Springs district has had the state’s approval for the officers for a few years, and after Sandy Hook, officials said they would be adding more officers. The district can only have the officers if agreements are in place with local police departments, and that would apply statewide. Officers also would have to have training to handle “active shooter” situations. Overall, she said, Blue Springs has served as a good model for the state.

Solon also was able to make progress on another priority issue this year. The General Assembly passed a bill calling for a committee to study the disparity in co-payments for chemotherapy delivered intravenously or by pill. Solon had a bill requiring that insurers who cover intravenous chemo also cover the pill versions of those treatments, but lawmakers will study the issue before the 2014 session.

“It’s a good first step” toward further legislation, she said.

Twenty-two other states have adopted this policy, she said.

Intravenous chemo is time-consuming and – especially in rural areas where the drive to a hospital might be long – can weigh heavily on patients as well as family members or others driving them to and from treatment. It sometimes means lost time at work. The pill versions of chemo are meant to alleviate that problem.