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(TRENTON) — Assembly Appropriations Chairwoman Nellie Pou (D-Passaic/Bergen) released the following statement on Wednesday as the Assembly Budget Committee heard from the Department of the Treasury:

“New Jersey ratepayers paid into New Jersey’s clean energy funds with an expectation their hard-earned money would go to alternative energy programs that would save them money, boost our economy and create jobs.

“They did not expect this money to be raided by Gov. Christie to balance a budget that cuts property tax relief, imposes new and increased health care fees on senior citizens and axes a program that helps the poor pay heating bills in the winter.

“These raids temper the excitement that was building among businesses for our successful and still-budding clean energy industry. It has already prompted businesses to scale back their plans for New Jersey and begin looking elsewhere.

“This is the wrong direction for New Jersey, and if the governor is insistent on these raids, he should reimburse the ratepayers who built these funds.”

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