(TRENTON) — Assembly members John J. Burzichelli, Fred Scalera, Gary S. Schaer, Albert Coutinho and Gordon M. Johnson today issued a multimedia package in which they discuss the impact Gov. Christie’s budget plan will have on senior citizens.
Their comments came during the Assembly Budget Committee’s final public hearing, which took place Monday in the Oral Health Pavilion of the University of Medicine and Dentistry’s Dental School in Newark. Over 110 individuals were scheduled to testify.
The General Assembly on Thursday is scheduled to consider the legislation (A-10 & A-20) to reverse Christie’s cuts to prescription drug and property tax relief programs for senior and disabled citizens.
The multimedia package consists of a video of the legislators discussing the impact of the budget, audio of same, a transcript of comments from the members and a press release discussing the hearing in more detail.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from the Democratic members of the committee follows:
Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester):
“Now with the governor being unwilling to go to bat for senior households, to get their $1,200 rebate restored, that means that they’re going to have a $1,200 increase in their property taxes immediately in this budget. That’s an average of 17 percent. That’s a lot of money.”
Assemblyman Fred Scalera (D-Essex):
“I guarantee you, we will have people not being able to pay the deductible for drugs, not getting health care. They will be in deep trouble in the State of New Jersey coming next year.”
Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic) Assembly Budget Committee vice chair:
“And I think that we appreciate that, given the budget deficit, everyone must be called to the table. But there’s one group that has not been called to the table: those men and women earning over $1 million. There are 16,600 of them. If they were to pay their fair share, 600,000 seniors would see the cuts to their incomes reinstated.”
Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex):
“And unfortunately, the governor is choosing to leave the richest people in the state out of this shared sacrifice. And that is something, of course, that we are against and we’re going to fight until the end of this process.”
Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen):
“This is actually an assault on our seniors. As a Democrat and as an individual who believes that seniors should be taken care of throughout our society, I believe that it’s a direct assault on them. I intend to do all that I can to protect them and their quality of life.”
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