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State Sen. Sandra Cunningham. Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Hudson Democrats backing Murphy borrowing plan

Top Sweeney Senate ally on board

By David Wildstein, May 30 2020 8:26 pm

The entire nine-member Hudson County legislative delegation announced on Saturday evening that they will support Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposal to borrow $9 billion to help the state deal with the fiscal crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise joined the Hudson legislators in backing the Murphy plan they say will avert massive public sector layoffs, including police officer, firefighters, EMTs, and public school teachers.

Of particular significance is the backing of Senate Deputy Majority Leader Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City), a key political ally of Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Sweeney has not endorsed Murphy’s borrowing plan, although NJBIZ reported yesterday that the Senate President acknowledged that there was “no way around” borrowing to bridge revenue shortfalls caused by COVID-19.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin has already endorsed the Murphy idea.

The announcement of the Hudson support was made by Democratic County Chair Amy DeGise and included State Sens. Brian Stack (D-Union City) and Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen), Assembly Majority Whip Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Bayonne), Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City), Assemblywomen Angela McKnight (D-Jersey City), Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken) and Angelica Jimenez (D-West New York), and Assemblyman Pedro Mejia (D-Secaucus).

“The COVID-19 crisis has pushed our local, county and state governments nearly to the breaking point as frontline employees have dealt with an unprecedented situation and worked tirelessly to care for our communities,” the delegation said.  “Forcing these government agencies to now lay off thousands of essential workers during this pandemic absolutely cannot be allowed to happen.”

The Hudson Democrats said they believe “Murphy’s emergency borrowing plan is a sound fiscal strategy that will provide state, local and county governments with the funding needed to continue providing the essential services that our residents rely on.”

“We thank Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin for supporting the Governor’s plan and posting it for a vote, and we ask Senate President Steve Sweeney to do the same,” the legislators said.

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and 17 Essex mayors announced their support of the borrowing plan on Friday — another indication of a growing Essex/Hudson alliance.

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