Senate passes additional Newtown-related bills

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — State senators are building on a package of reforms the General Assembly passed in April addressing the Newtown school shooting, requiring annual firearms safety training for armed security in local schools and improvements in mental health services for children.

Both bills passed the Senate unanimously Thursday and await further action in the House of Representatives.

Sen. John Kissel of Enfield, whose town is one of two in Connecticut planning to hire armed guards after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, said districts will choose from a pool of retired police officers and troopers. Those officers would need annual firearms training.

Another bill requires the Department of Children and Families to develop a plan for meeting the mental, emotional and behavioral health need of children through early identification and intervention.