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(TRENTON) – Assemblymen Albert Coutinho and Paul Moriarty on Thursday said Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to freeze money included in the state budget to pay for a valuable after school program for children throughout New Jersey is another direct shot at working families.
Christie initially sought to eliminate funding for the New Jersey After 3 program, but during budget negotiations Democrats successfully negotiated for a $3 million appropriation.
Since the budget was enacted by Christie in June, the administration has frozen $1.5 million of this $3 million.
“This is another irresponsible decision that puts the education and safety of more than 3,800 students from working families in 29 public schools at risk,” said Coutinho (D-Essex). “It’s already clear that education is not one of the governor’s priorities, but this was money he agreed to dedicate to this valuable program that helps working families and increases student success. Rather then going after working families, Gov. Christies needs to live up to his obligation on this valuable program.”
“This decision is another Christie assault on the middle-class,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “It’s was bad enough that Gov. Christie threatened to cripple this program, but now he won’t even live up to his word to fund this program at a reduced amount. Spending restraint is necessary, but if the governor can miraclously find $70 million to drop his plans to hike business fees and undo Bergen County’s blue laws, then he can live up to his promise to fund this program so vital to working families. Gov. Christie finally needs to make protecting working families throughout New Jersey his priority.”