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Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt

Steinhardt celebrates Murphy firefighter fund reversal

By Nikita Biryukov, May 07 2019 4:15 pm

New Jersey Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt celebrated Gov. Phil Murphy backing away from a budget proposal to withdraw $33 million from a fund devoted to providing burials and paying medical expenses, among other things.

“We are happy for New Jersey’s First Responders. Today, Governor Murphy caved on his scheme to raid the New Jersey Firemen’s Association burial fund for $33 million,” Steinhardt said. “Still, New Jersey voters should be alarmed at the lengths to which this Governor will go to feed his nearly $40 billion, ultra-liberal budget’s voracious appetite. But for a reporter’s research, he might have succeeded.”

New Jersey Advanced Media first reported that the governor’s budget would draw money from the fund, which currently holds about $180 million.

The surcharge that fills fund brings in roughly $30 million per year.

Murphy’s turnaround follows backlash from union officials and the public.

“The public uproar against Governor Murphy’s efforts to rob the firemen’s fund proves that while there are no lengths to which the Governor won’t go to fuel his progressive platform, there are many more conscientious New Jerseyans who are willing to prioritize their spending, even when their Governor is not,” Steinhardt said.

It is not yet clear how Murphy intends to replace the $33 million in revenue lost by his reversal. He told legislative leaders he intends to submit an amended budget next week.

“The biggest challenge now is whether the Governor and Democratic caucus actually have the courage to tighten their belts and save $33 million, or whether they’ll continue their pattern of reckless spending and mortgage our future to pay for it,” Steinhardt said.

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