Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick urged legislative leaders to reconfigure the state’s budget to find $50 million to equip all police officers stationed at schools with bulletproof shields.

“I am asking the Speaker of the House to join the Senate members of the Legislative Budget Board and me next week in a budget execution letter to move $50 million to either the Governor’s Office or Department of Public Safety (DPS) to begin buying these bulletproof shields as soon as possible so every member of school law enforcement has one,” stated Patrick in a press release issued June 3. “This will begin the funding necessary to eventually provide bulletproof shields to all law enforcement.”

Patrick’s call to his colleagues followed the Uvalde school shooting in May, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults.

The massacre prompted calls for legislative solutions to acts of mass violence and a renewed debate over anti-gun legislation and mental health services.

“We have used transfer authority this year to spend billions on the border. We can surely find this amount of money to better protect our kids,” stated Patrick, adding that there are “several sources in the current budget that can be tapped to provide this funding.”

Patrick stated further that if every police officer in the state had a bulletproof shield, “their ability to respond to an active shooter situation would be greatly enhanced.”

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan responded to Patrick’s request on Monday, June 6.

Phelan stated, “While discussions are already underway in the Texas House about how to respond to the school shooting in Uvalde, there are also ongoing investigations into the details of this horrific event — and we will be utilizing those findings to determine how state resources should be allocated if we are to prevent another tragedy like this from occurring.”