The Joint Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee requested more time last week to make decisions on a variety of bills before it, but it needed only days after hearing testimony to recommend a bill to let the Department of Higher Education overrule college decisions on the arming of campus police.

The committee recommended Sen. Paul Feeney's bill (S 2431) that would allow the Board of Higher Education to overrule a public college board of trustees and require the issuance of firearms and other safety equipment to campus police officers at any state college, community college or public university.

While the proposal would apply to all campuses, the legislation is targeted at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the Fenway area of Boston, which is the only four-year public college in the state without armed security.

Rep. Harold Naughon, the co-chair of the committee, is a co-sponsor of Feeney's bill, which now moves on to the Senate Ways and Means Committee for further review.

The committee held a hearing on the bill last Monday, before recommending its passage on Wednesday, which was the deadline for most committees to either report out bills before them, or file for an extension.