Press release from NJGOP:
Trenton, NJ - Earlier this week, it was discovered that Governor Murphy plans to raid $33 million from a state fund that pays for the burials of fallen firefighters, provides financial assistance for first responders hit with medical bills, and provides in-home health care for those who are aging and suffering from physical ailments.
Republican officials across New Jersey are outraged and standing up for firefighters and first responders.
Here is a quick round up of their public comments:
New Jersey Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt: "New Jersey's brave firefighters and first responders are there for us, and now we all need to come together with one loud voice and be there for them. Governor Murphy is continuing the dangerous trend of reckless spending that so far has defined his Administration. Rather than reign in spending Murphy raids firemen’s burial funds to fuel ultra liberal handouts like financial aide for illegal immigrants or so-called free college. We can’t let Governor Murphy buy liberal headlines at the expense of our heroes."
Senator Declan O'Scanlon: “Firefighters are a critical component of our public safety and first responder community. These funds should be used for the betterment of our firefighters and perhaps improvement of the state of the sector itself, not to plug up completely unrelated budget holes. Since the issuance of the Comptroller’s report we have been reaching out to stakeholders to discuss the best way to expand access to, and manage the fund to fortify the firefighting community without destroying the fund’s primary intent.”
Senator Steve Oroho: “The Murphy administration has patted itself on the back about how they have reduced raids on dedicated funds. Funds for the firefighter relief programs have been sacrosanct whereby past administrations and legislatures have said ‘hands off;’ this administration must do the same.”
Assemblyman Anthony Bucco: “Gov. Murphy vowed against raiding the clean energy, unemployment compensation, and affordable housing funds to plug budget holes, but he’s willing to take money away from firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect our citizens. He doesn’t have his priorities straight. It’s a disgrace that the governor would fund his agenda on the backs of firefighters.”
Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso: "As a first responder, I am absolutely floored by this proposal! 80% of fire fighters are volunteers! These men and women run towards danger, for no reward other than helping a fellow resident. As an assemblywoman I am embarrassed by this tactic! Do your job Gov #cutspending ... Stop raiding funds from those who give selflessly. They ask for so little in return. These brave souls deserve more!"
Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi: "For the men and women who put their lives on the line every time they answer a call, I will be voting no on this if it comes before the legislature."
Assemblyman Kevin Rooney: “Governor Murphy, once again, refuses to acknowledge New Jersey’s affordability crisis. Instead of cutting spending, Murphy’s budget relies on gimmicks that take funding away from our first responders. Stealing from our firefighters does not create a ‘stronger and fairer New Jersey.’ Murphy should be cutting spending and saving taxpayer money.”
Assemblyman Parker Space: “Whether you are a volunteer or a career firefighter or their loved ones, making sure these men and women who give of themselves for their communities are taken care of in a time of need is paramount and these funds are dedicated for such purposes and shouldn’t be ransacked for progressive causes. Just like the ‘dedicated’ 9-1-1 funds for counties which continue to be raided to the EMS training funds money raided by Corzine a decade ago, these budget gimmicks have got to end.”
Assemblyman Hal Wirths: “As Labor Commissioner, I saw firsthand how years of raiding the Unemployment Trust Fund for budgetary purposes so politicians of both parties could continue to spend without making tough decisions was bankrupting the fund. These funds for firefighters should be protected from the yearly budget negotiations as it was intended and it is a travesty that firefighters and their families are being dragged into it.”