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Assemblyman Gerard Scharfenberger. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Scharfenberger won’t take Assembly salary until constituents get unemployment checks

Legislator: ‘We cannot allow families to struggle to meet the basic necessities of life. We must show that we stand with them, especially in these hard times’

By David Wildstein, April 20 2020 8:25 am

Freshman Assemblyman Gerald Scharfenberger (R-Middletown) won’t take his salary until the state satisfies all unemployment claims related to COVID-19 in his Monmouth County-based legislative district.

“My staff and I have been working seven days a week yielding countless phone calls and emails from residents who have lost either all or part of their income due to this public health crisis,” said Scharfenberger. “They have sought state unemployment insurance, calling on a daily basis only to be told to be patient and they may have to wait another 4 to 6 weeks. This is unacceptable and as leaders in this State, we cannot allow families to struggle to meet the basic necessities of life. We must show that we stand with them, especially in these hard times.”

Scharfenberger, who earns $49,000-a-year for the post he won lats November, sent a letter to State Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio saying that he “cannot, in good conscience, continue to accept a salary while these issues remain unresolved and my constituents struggle through no fault of their own.”

A former Middletown mayor and Monmouth County freeholder, Scharfenberger won the 13th district Assembly seat of Amy Handlin (R-Middletown), who retired after fourteen years in the New Jersey Legislature.

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