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(5TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assembly Democrats Angel Fuentes and Gilbert “Whip” Wilson (both D-Camden/Gloucester) released the following statement on Gov. Christie’s line-item vetoes that will cost 5th Legislative District taxpayers $33.5 million in school aid:

“The governor seems intent on widening the gap between wealthy and working class families in New Jersey,” said Fuentes. “The budget approved by the Legislature would have secured $520 million for schools in the 5th district, but instead the governor chose tax breaks for the state’s wealthiest over fitting school districts with adequate funding to educate our children. It’s sad, but the governor has made education secondary to appeasing millionaires.”

School districts in the 5th district would have received $520 million in school aid under the budget passed by the Legislature. The school aid allocation would have been funded by the Millionaire’s Tax bill, which imposed a new levy on the 16,000 New Jerseyans that earn $1 million or more per year. The bill passed the Legislature, but was vetoed by the governor.

Instead, school districts in the 5th district saw reductions in their school aid under the governor’s budget. Barrington and Bellmawr had its funding slashed by more than 30 percent, Gloucester County Vocational and Haddon Heights by 30 percent, and Woodlyne, Sterling High School District and Runnemede by more than 20 percent.

“The governor has failed working class tax payers and students in the 5th district. Bellmawr and Barrington saw over 30 percent of their school funding cut because he thought it would be wiser to give tax breaks to the wealthy,” said Wilson. “We all know what inadequate school funding leads to: larger classroom sizes, staff reductions and cutting of programs, and by extension, higher property tax bills. The governor’s priorities are distorted.”

See the attached chart for a complete list of the governor’s cuts to the 5th Legislative District.