Remember that time it was pointed out on our radio show that it was “’uncomfortably coincidental’ that up to $2 million was cut from our veterans while Governor Phil Murphy can find $2 million for a defense fund for illegal immigrants?”
Well, now it appears Murphy is done screwing over our veterans and instead has decided to try and screw the state’s firefighters in this year’s budget proposal. Only this time it looks like folks are paying attention.
Someone discovered a line in Murphy’s budget proposal that takes $33 million from the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association and places that money in the state’s general fund. The line doing so is on page 552 of the 592-page document:
Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.54:18-1, or any law or regulation to the contrary, $33,000,000 of the amount deposited with the New Jersey State Firemen's Association shall be transferred to the General Fund as State revenue.
Apparently we aren’t the only ones to think taking money from our firefighters is disgusting. According to an NJ.com article on the issue:
Now, Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration wants to divert $33 million from that fund to spend on its own agenda, an under-the-radar maneuver that critics are calling “horrendous” and a threat to the neediest of firefighters. It means no new money would come into the fund this year.
The Murphy administration’s answer to the money being taken from the firefighters is ridiculous. From the same NJ.com article:
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Treasury, Jennifer Sciortino, said the firefighters’ fund will still have plenty of money and the $33 million will help the state “meet our many obligations, which includes funding the firefighters’ pension system.”
“The healthy reserves maintained in the Firefighter’s Fund will enable them to continue supporting their critical mission,” she said.
The way I read that is because the firefighters have “healthy reserves” they manage their money wisely so the governor will punish them.
Last year Murphy managed to take money from our veterans, but now folks are paying attention so maybe we’ll be able to keep him from taking money from our firefighters.
Time will tell. You can view all 502 pages of Murphy’s proposed budget here.