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State Sen. Joe Cryan. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Cryan, Sweeney introduce bills to aid furloughed federal workers

By Nikita Biryukov, January 16 2019 2:07 pm

Senate President Steve Sweeney and State Sen. Joe Cryan are pushing a pair of bills, introduced Tuesday, to aid federal workers furloughed by the ongoing shutdown of the federal government.

“The lives and livelihoods of our federal workers have been disrupted by a shutdown that is cutting off the paychecks they need to support themselves and their families,” Cryan said. “President Trump’s senseless crusade to build a wall along our border with Mexico is victimizing federal workers, including those who are working without pay, those forced to stay home and the contract workers employed by businesses with federal contracts.”

In December, congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump reached an impasse on the budget over Trump’s demands for funding to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.

The shutdown has worn on into the new session of Congress, dragging for 26 days and becoming the longest federal shutdown in the country’s history.

The state senators’ bills would allow for a grace period on property tax payments for affected federal workers and would provide zero-interest loans against their pensions allow workers to put against expenses.

Deferred property tax payments would be due on the next quarterly property tax due date. Payments deferred in such a way would not accrue interest.

“These are working people who are having an increasingly difficult time paying their bills and they don’t know when this shutdown will end,” Sweeney said. “It puts a severe strain on family finances and causes real anxiety for those who are living paycheck to paycheck. This will provide a grace period on property tax payments that could ease their pressures.”

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