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Mar 16, 11:52 AM EDT

Kentucky House votes to put mental health workers in schools

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Seeking to prevent school shootings, the Kentucky House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require any district with enough money to employ one mental health professional for every 1,500 students.

Key language in House bill 604 says "as funds are available," which means lawmakers did not give the districts money to hire the mental health workers, and they will only be held to the requirement if they can afford it. Many districts in Kentucky would likely have trouble hiring the workers because of budget shortfalls.

The bill is in response to the January shooting at Marshall County High School that killed two students and injured more than a dozen others. House budget chairman Steven Rudy said he hopes lawmakers can provide districts funds to hire the workers in the state budget.

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