Disappointed to find key non-profits and community programs make up list of organizations that have had a portion of their state funding withheld in the budget, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington) issued the following statement today:
“During my time chairing the budget committee I had the opportunity to work with organizations like the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ). It is the reason why I fought to bring stronger cancer treatment to South Jersey and the reason many residents in my district now have a choice and no longer have to travel to another state to receive the medical care they need to get well.
“The South Jersey Cancer Program in Camden has helped to provide critical cancer treatment services to thousands of South Jersey residents, stopping them from having to go to Pennsylvania for treatment. It also has helped to attract high-quality health care providers such as MD Anderson, Penn, and Jefferson to our state. Governors, in a bi-partisan fashion, have supported this initiative over the last 15 plus years. It also uniquely fits into growing New Jersey’s “innovation economy,” something Governor Murphy and I both have agreed on in the past.
“We’re confident in the budget we delivered and in our revenue projections. We were right on mark last year with our projections which brought in additional money in the budget to be able to meet the state’s fiscal responsibilities and support organizations providing critical services to our communities.
“Since the question has been asked, I will tell you whose side we are on. We are on the side of providing the best possible care for our most vulnerable residents, creating good paying jobs in the medical sector, and keeping our health care resources here in our state. With a billion dollar surplus and hundreds of millions of dollars in a rainy day fund, it’s time to reassess our priorities. For sick children and our loved ones that will lose access to care, I’d say the rainy day is already here.
“The reality is that many of the programs subjected to the freeze will need to plan and compensate for the potential loss whether it’s staff layoffs or, unfortunately, closing their doors. I do not want to see that happen. However, withholding or “freezing” necessary long standing funding for South Jersey Cancer organizations only, will become more punitive than productive as time goes on.”