LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The state Senate's Democratic leader has proposed legislation funding a police officer in every public school in South Carolina.

Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler introduced a bill Wednesday requiring the Legislature to put enough money in the state budget to cover the officers' pay.

Setzler says it's meant to jumpstart debate. The West Columbia Democrat's proposal comes a week after State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel told a Senate panel that every school needs an officer. Keel says that's his top recommendation for making schools safer following the massacre last month at a Connecticut elementary school.

Most districts already pay for an assigned officer at their middle and high schools.

State funding for an officer in all schools would cost tens of millions of dollars.

Read or Share this story: http://www.wcnc.com/story/news/politics/2014/07/01/10962154/