In an op-ed for the Daily Herald, Sen. Joey Hensley says that a priority will be placed on the safety and security of higher education institutions this year. Sen. Hensley says the state's 2020-2021 budget includes $38 million in capital maintenance across higher education institutions from the Higher Education Capital Maintenance Fund and $2 million non-recurring statewide security grants. It also includes $1 million for additional Veteran Reconnect grants. In addition, a correctional education investment of $4.43 million was approved in recurring funds and $984,600 in non-recurring funds.
In addition to the security grants that will go to ramping up safety and security on campuses across the state, legislation was enacted by the state legislature this year which creates a Chief of Police position to coordinate campus security and policy across 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and 13 community colleges to keep students safe. The new law was recommended by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) after studying safety needs on their campuses.