Democrats want to extend security money to houses of worship
Students from the Yeshiva School in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, react as the funeral procession for Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz passes their school en route to the Homewood Cemetery following a funeral service at the Jewish Community Center, Tuesday Oct. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
(Harrisburg) — Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania want the state to provide millions of dollars in grants to protect houses of worship from hate crimes in the wake of October’s deadly mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa said Monday that forthcoming legislation seeks $10 million in grants. The grants could go toward security improvements for faith-based organizations or to protect community events that support tolerance, respect and understanding.
Mass shootings are spurring similar grant programs in a number of states.
A Pennsylvania state program spurred by last year’s high school shooting in Florida distributed about $60 million in grants, mostly to public schools, and lawmakers are considering renewing it for another year.
Jewish schools are asking lawmakers to include non-public schools in the next round of grants.