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Schaer, Pou, McKeon, Jasey, Benson & Riley Comment After Assembly Hearing

(TRENTON) – Assembly Democrats released the following statements Thursday after hearing testimony on Gov. Chris Christie’s cuts to senior citizens programs:
Assembly Budget Vice Chairman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic/Bergen/Essex):
“Senior citizens deserve better. The testimony we heard today showed there is no valid public policy reason for the governor to cut nursing homes and special care nursing facilities, among other vital senior services. We remain committed to finding a way to resolve these cuts because caring for our vulnerable elderly should be a shared commitment.”
Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-Passaic/Bergen):
“As it is often said, this is one of those moral tests of government. We’ve heard firsthand today the constraints that the cuts are placing on our most vulnerable senior citizens. Hopefully this hearing will lead to cooperatively developing a plan to mitigate the impact of these cuts on New Jersey’s seniors.”
Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex):
“Supporting nursing homes and specialty care nursing facilities for our senior citizens is a core New Jersey value. We understand the budget difficulties, but our responsible plan made caring for our most vulnerable seniors a priority, as it should always be. We will work to the best of our ability to ensure these programs continue to care for our seniors.”
Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex):
“No one disputes cost saving measures are needed, but it makes no fiscal or moral sense to target programs for seniors living on fixed incomes and battling health issues as the way to achieve that. We are committed to ensuring programs that meet their needs are still able to do that.”
Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland):
“The cuts to senior programs are fiscally and morally irresponsible. Caring for our seniors should always be a priority. Hopefully going forward everyone will work together to try to resolve these wrongful cuts.”
Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex):
“There is clearly a pattern that has emerged in examining the governor’s line item vetoes. If you are a child, elderly, disabled or infirmed – in short, if you are part of a vulnerable population – then you must sacrifice. If you are a millionaire, then you get a tax break. We need to find a way to achieve true shared sacrifice so we can refocus priorities on caring for our senior citizens and the most vulnerable.”