Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced $22 million in new state funding for school security projects Friday at Manchester High School. Malloy, who is locked in a close re-election battle, said he will propose at least $10 million more next year if he’s re-elected Tuesday.
The state dollars will be used to reimburse over 400 public and private Connecticut schools for security upgrades. The program was adopted last year as part of the sweeping gun control legislation passed in the wake of the Newtown shooting. Friday’s announcement brings the total state funding under the program to $43 million.
During a press conference, Malloy said he hopes to dedicate more money to the projects in next year’s budget.
“I have called for in our upcoming budget, at a minimum, an additional $10 million and that number may grow based on a survey that we’ll conduct,” he said.
But whether Malloy will be in office to propose the next budget remains to be seen. On Tuesday voters will go to the polls to choose between Malloy and Tom Foley, his Republican rival, and unaffiliated candidate Joe Visconti. A Quinnipiac University poll released this week suggest that Foley and Malloy are deadlocked at 43 percent of the vote while Visconti trails at 7 percent.
After Friday’s press conference, Malloy said he is confident in his campaign’s get-out-the-vote efforts and hopes to get a boost from President Barack Obama’s participation in a rally for him on Sunday.
Malloy said the get-out-the-vote effort “is superior to anything we’ve ever had in this state before. Because we’ve spent more time and energy in building a get-out-the-vote system that’s not simply concentrating on some large communities but is based on all 169 municipalities where we’ve seeked to maximize our vote.”
While Malloy avoided talking about politics during the school security press conference, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal praised Malloy for his work on the legislation. The bill’s gun control provisions have been a point of contention during this year’s campaign.
Second Amendment advocates are staunchly against the firearm regulations in the bill and Foley has said those provisions intrude on the rights of law abiding gun owners. Meanwhile, Visconti has called for the repeal of the bill’s expansion of the assault weapons ban, as well as its prohibition of some ammunition magazines.
Blumenthal, an ardent supporter of gun control, said Connecticut under Malloy has succeeded where Congress “has failed” to address gun violence.
“So as we approach Halloween where a lot of kids are going to be dressed as Batman and Superman, we can’t count on those mythical figures to save our kids and apparently we can’t count on Congress either. But we can count on the state of Connecticut. Connecticut is leading the nation and I want to thank the governor for his initiative and his effort,” he said.
So does getting better marks than Superman and Batman help with four days to go before an Election Day?
“I was just happy he left out Wonder Women,” Malloy joked.