Critical of the Administration’s motivation to freeze nearly $105 million in transitional aid for needy municipalities who rely on public assistance, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington) released the following statement:
“It defies logic that the Governor has chosen to freeze almost $105 million in transitional aid to municipalities. Of the almost $115 dollars in transitional aid put forth in the Legislature’s fiscally responsible budget, $105 million was proposed by the Governor himself. In other words, he’s reducing funding for needy municipalities that even his own Administration identified.
“Paterson, the biggest victim of the funding freeze, stands to lose $33 million. Camden is at risk of not receiving $22.3 million. Trenton, our Capital City, may not be receiving $6 million and Atlantic City could miss out on $3.4 million. This aid is imperative to avoid funding gaps. Anyone who understands basic economic principles knows that as inflation goes up, costs increase. Public assistance has to be responsive to that. With the freeze it’s not. Communities are being set back.
“Municipalities facing fiscal distress could be forced to seek funds elsewhere, most likely in the pockets of their very own residents or with layoffs. To that effect local communities will have to forget about meeting growth and investment goals. They will be trying to stay afloat.
“Whose side are we on? We’re on the side of taxpayers, working people, and all those who serve in their communities.
“At this point, the Administration is reneging on its promise for sustainable revenues by holding funds hostage at the cost of New Jersey taxpayers. We know whose side we’re on.”