(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) released the following statement Wednesday as the Assembly Budget Committee wrapped up its scheduled departmental hearings on Gov. Chris Christie’s budget plan:

“These hearings are always valuable no matter the year and budget situation, and this year they’ve helped make crystal clear how Gov. Christie’s budget plan unmercifully places an unduly heavy burden on our senior citizens.

“Cutting property tax relief for seniors by $1,295 and forcing them to pay significantly more for vital prescription drugs, leading them to ration or skip their medication, does not equate to shared sacrifice under any measure.

“Rather, Gov. Christie’s plan looks to solve our budget woes on the backs of the elderly, with an especially heavy load placed onto the poorest seniors.

“Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Oliver have made it clear that the Democratic Legislature’s top priority as it finalizes a state budget will be to eliminate Gov. Chris Christie’s plans to hit low-income senior citizens with new and increased prescription drug fees.

“Democrats are willing to work with the Governor to address our budget problems, but not at the expense of our senior citizens.”

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