TRENTON-New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has cut over $500 million from the state legislature’s “Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act” on Monday. Originally proposed last month as a $1 billion aid package to bolster school security, Murphy executed a conditional veto on the bill, slashing it in half.
The Governor’s action could have a profound effect in Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community, where an estimated 20,000 children attend private schools.
The move upset Avi Schnall, Director, New Jersey Office at Agudath Israel of America, who questioned Murphy’s cut. Schnall penned a letter to the online news website, The Lakewood Scoop.
— Avi Schnall (@Avi_schnall) October 17, 2017
“Do our students not deserve the safety and security measures that every innocent child should be entitled to? Is it not enough that our children are already put at a greater risk,” Schnall said. “Is it not enough that this year’s nonpublic school security funding remained a stagnant $75 per child as opposed to the public school security funding increase of $65 million? Is there a reason why non-public school students are any less deserving of their basic right to safety?”
Last November, the Lakewood VAAD, a council of community leaders, endorsed Murphy, a progressive liberal against Republican Kim Guadagno in the gubernatorial election.
Lakewood is a predominantly conservative voting community. In 2013, 82.4% of voters cast their vote for incumbent Governor and Republican, Chris Christie.
Last year, just 48.9% of Lakewood’s voters voted for Guadagno, a nearly 50% decline, in favor of Murphy, who was endorsed by the VAAD.
Eight years ago, the VAAD also endorsed a liberal progressive candidate for Governor, Jon Corzine, but Lakewood voters went with Christie.
Now, Lakewood is staring down the barrel of having their private school students being left out of a funding bill that would increase security at those schools.
Lakewood residents at the Lakewood Scoop expressed frustration over both the cut and Murphy’s bait and switch against the residents of the town.
“Between Governor Murphy and Senator Booker it seems the new liberal way of doing things is to give lip service to the needs of our community, deliver next to nothing, and expect our support,” wrote Ari.
“Murphy waited until the last day to conditionally veto this measure and still get the bond referendum on the November Election Ballot,” wrote Buck Martin. “The Legislature already approved the changes to meet the deadline. So much for transparency and access to the process. He made sure that there was no time for a lobbying effort.”
“What did we gain by supporting this clown. Lets not repeat the mistake of supporting a die hard liberal,” said Joe McCraw.
Schnall eluded to the fact that Lakewood Township is a potential high risk target for terrorist attacks. The community is one of the largest Jewish enclaves outside of Israel.
“In today’s madness of mass shootings and terrorist attacks,all children are vulnerable, especially those attending religious institutions,” Schnall said. “Yet, the security funding allocated for those children attending religious institutions is minimal compared to that of their public school counterparts.”
In the end, Lakewood voters played a role in the election of Phil Murphy, are now learning the lessons learned in other shore towns where school boards and municipal entities openly endorsed a governor who has since turned his back on those communities.
“Shall I dare say, We told you so? What do you THINK is going to happen when you put liberal infested politicians in office!?! Ye shall sleep in thy bed that ye make,” said one frustrated reader.