UVALDE, Texas – State Sen. Roland Gutierrez on Wednesday announced plans to file a bill for the next session of the Texas Legislature that would create a $300 million compensation fund for the victims of the Uvalde school shooting.
Gutierrez made the announcement during a news conference at the Uvalde Town Square, where he was joined by some of the victims’ families.
The Democrat who represents District 19, which includes Uvalde, said the compensation fund “needs to be punitive in nature because the state failed, and it needs to admit that it’s failed.”
He said the response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in May was the “worst law enforcement response to a mass shooting.”
Gutierrez said $7.7 million of the fund will be paid to households who lost a child or teacher for the 77 minutes that elapsed before the gunman was taken down. The lawmaker said $2.1 million that will be paid per injured victim represents the 21 victims killed in the massacre. The fund will also pay $250,000 for anyone who was on campus the day of the shooting and left traumatized by the incident.
Gutierrez said while the fund may bring some financial relief to families, he admits, “There’s not an amount of money that will ever bring their children back.”
He said funding for the bill will come from $27 billion the state has in surplus.
Gutierrez plans to pre-file the bill on Nov. 11 and said the next session of the Legislature that begins in January will be dedicated to make sure the bill is passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott into law.
“My entire session will be dedicated to these folks,” pointing to the families of the victims who appeared at the news conference.
He also mentioned that the autopsies of the victims may be finished next week.
WATCH: State Sen. Roland Gutierrez news conference
Gutierrez faces Republican Robert Garza in his race to be re-elected to District 19 in next week’s election.
You can view the bill that Gutierrez plans to file below: