Assemblywoman Elizabeth Maher Muoio issued the following statement Wednesday in response to claims from the Governor’s Office that the “Christie Administration has made revitalizing New Jersey’s urban communities a priority” since the first days of the administration:
“Development in our capital city is always good news and I look forward to working to ensure that these building projects provide much needed jobs for our local workforce. But while these new state building projects will benefit Trenton, to truly be a formula for success it is equally important that Trenton be given the tools to develop its city and the sites that the state will be abandoning.
“This year alone the Governor vetoed two such tools that would have directly assisted Trenton in this endeavor. In January he vetoed a bill that would have provided $25 million in EDA (Economic Development Authority) funding in the form of tax credits to be used to assist the development of new projects directly in Trenton. Just last week he vetoed a bill that would have extended Trenton’s successful Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) business incentive program which, will now end in December of this year.
“As we have seen in other areas of the state, truly comprehensive plans to encourage private development must go beyond simply providing empty lots. We also need to ensure that Trenton has the tools necessary to incentivize businesses to locate or move to our capital city.
“Lastly, while I agree with the Governor’s comments that K-12 education also needs to be a focus of our efforts, it is difficult to see how that will be possible under Governor Christie’s proposed education plan, which will absolutely decimate funding for students in Trenton schools by cutting their per pupil aid by two-thirds,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon).