(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, issued the following statements after the Select Commission on Emergency COVID-19 Borrowing voted to approve the Murphy Administration’s plan to issue “New Jersey COVID-19 General Obligation Emergency Bonds” to address the economic crisis caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic:
Speaker Coughlin (D-Middlesex):
“The Legislature had to address the unprecedented needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The State Treasurer has estimated billions in loss of revenue. New Jersey is in the middle of an economic tsunami that required an extraordinary action. While not ideal, we must borrow the necessary funds through bonding.
“The coronavirus pandemic represents the greatest public health and economic challenge we have faced since the Great Depression, nearly a century ago. An unparalleled course of action was necessary. Due to the compelling nature of the times we are in, the Legislature took the steps required to enable borrowing by the State.
“Our residents face record unemployment, loss of business and difficulty in paying rents and mortgages. The middle class is struggling to make ends meet. It is for that reason that we also passed a middle class tax cut.
“Proper Legislative oversight will ensure that our economic position will be strengthened for both the present and future.”
Assemblywoman Pintor Marin (D-Essex):
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had and continues to have a devastating impact on the State’s economy. Residents, businesses, and government units have all been affected.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our economy, budget and finances is unpredictable and continues to change rapidly. The Bond Act provides us with an important solution that will help stabilize the State’s fiscal condition and address the current needs of our residents.
“We did not make the decision to authorize this borrowing lightly. The historic nature of the pandemic has led to this unprecedented last resort due to the current fiscal crisis.”