Gov. Phil Murphy has conditionally vetoed a bill requiring all New Jersey public school buildings to be equipped with a panic alarm system linked to law enforcement agencies.
The measure proposed funding the panic alarm systems through bonds issued by the Schools Development Authority, but that agency has nearly exhausted its borrowing capacity. Instead, Murphy said he would prefer that the funds come from a new bond act that voters will consider on the November ballot.
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo said Monday that he expects lawmakers will go along with Murphy’s recommendations.
“If we had the money in the SDA now, and the money wasn’t committed, I think the governor would have signed it,” said Caputo, D-Essex. “But some of the other things that he’s done are perfect, and we’ll wait for the approval of the public.”
Sen. Ron Rice called the panic alarm system a worthy investment.
“I think it’s very important, particularly with all the stuff that’s been taking place throughout the country with schools,” said Rice, D-Essex. “So, it’s another tool to help them protect those students and those workers in school buildings. And I think, once you do it, it would pay itself in terms of people feeling more comfortable.”
Murphy also wants the Schools Development Authority to oversee purchasing and installing the panic alarm systems.