Senator Bill Montford made it clear -through his votes on two amendments – that he does not support arming teachers with guns or de-certifying teacher unions.
However, that was not enough for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
The two amendments Montford supported were not adopted and he was faced with supporting two bills that provided significant financial help to schools, but also contained two measures he was against.
On the school safety plan, Montford voted in support of $400 million for security measures and mental health programs and some gun control regulations, despite the provisions that addressed arming some teachers with guns.
“When you go to the safety bill, do we go back to where we are and not address mental health issues? Do children go back in August to schools that are not hardened? Do we let children go back to an environment that are not safe? I don’t think so,” Montford told the Tallahassee Democrat.
On the education bill, Montford chose the ability of school districts to get control of money for construction and building maintenance over his objections to a provision that requires a labor union to sign up 50 percent of teachers in a bargaining unit as dues-paying members or lose its certification.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running for governor of Florida, was quick to criticize Montford’s votes.
Gillum told the Tallahassee Democrat, “I was very disappointed by both his votes yesterday.”
Montford told Tallahassee Democrat reporter, James Call, that “[T}o be able to criticize someone for a vote if they do not understand or have not read it is bush league.”
Referring to Gillum, Montford added: “I stay out of his business. He best stay out of mine.”