Bill Would Have Boosted Work First New Jersey Benefits
(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio on Thursday decried Gov. Christie’s line item veto of $14.2 million in funding that would have increased the maximum cash assistance benefit for families participating in the Work First New Jersey program.
The Work First New Jersey program provides cash and other assistance to low-income families with dependent children in order to alleviate the negative effects of poverty.
Assembly Democrats have made combating poverty a major focus of this legislative session.
“We’re talking about poor families with children,” said Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen). “Here was an opportunity to give these families the additional resources needed to eventually break the cycle of poverty. This is very disappointing.”
“It’s disappointing, but not surprising. The governor has made it clear time after time that his approach to fighting poverty is to let families affected by it to fend for themselves,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “Raising a family is not cheap, and for the state’s poor, it can be a monumental task. This funding would have given these families a needed boost so they could enjoy a decent and healthy standard of living. It’s a shame this administration does not believe they deserve as much.”
The bill (A-30) came after a report by New Jersey Policy Perspective detailed the devastating economic and social impact of New Jersey’s decision not to increase assistance or eligibility for 29 years.