A year after bomb threats were reported at schools in 14 of Maine’s 16 counties, the Legislature is taking action to help schools respond to those kinds of incidents.

With no debate, the House of Representatives on April 24 overwhelmingly approved a bill requiring Maine school boards to adopt bomb threat policies, based on guidelines developed by the state in consultation with representatives of school districts.

Schools also would have to report bomb threats they receive to the state. If the bill becomes law, school handbooks will have to include bomb threat policies.

Costs to districts are expected to be minor.

The bill, which received final passage 113-14 in the House, was sent to the Senate for a final vote. The bill was the result of a legislative study launched in the wake of a string of bomb threats across the state.

Nearly 200 bomb threats were received by Maine schools during the school year that ended last June. Most went to high schools, but some also affected middle schools, elementary schools, and colleges.