Though the senate concurred with a pared down version of a bipartisan bond act to fund the expansion of vocational program and school security initiatives returned to the legislature by Gov. Phil Murphy’s conditional veto, some are less than pleased with the changes.
State Sen. Tony Bucco, one of the bill’s cosponsors, leveled an attack at Murphy over the veto, which cut the proposed spending in half, from $1 billion to $500 million.
“Governor Murphy’s massive cut to the school security funding in the original version of our bipartisan legislation is a total lapse in judgment,” Bucco said. “If the Governor is so concerned about keeping our schools safe from gun violence, then I question why he would mandate such a drastic cut in school security.”
The majority of the cuts went to school facility security grants. All $450 million devoted to those grants in the version the legislature initially passed was cut in Murphy’s conditional veto, as was $50 million in vocational school grants.
Murphy cited the state’s already massive debt when justifying his veto, saying that the cost of the bonds and their associated interest payments would add to the burden borne by taxpayers.
In either case, voters will have to approve the spending at the polls.