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(TRENTON) — Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley (D-Hudson) on Monday released the following statement as the Assembly Budget Committee heard testimony on Gov. Chris Christie’s budget plan for the state Department of Health and Senior Services:

“The unfortunate reality is many New Jersey senior citizens are living on the edge of poverty.

“It’s also unfortunate that Gov. Christie’s budget plan may push many over that edge.

“More than a third of New Jersey senior citizens earn less than $25,000 per year, which is already about $1,500 less than the New Jersey Foundation for Aging estimates is needed for a Hudson County senior renter to pay for basic housing and living expenses.

“And that’s before Gov. Christie’s plan to eliminate senior citizen property tax relief and charge them significantly more for prescription drugs.

“Hiking drug co-payments alone for the 12,000 Hudson County senior citizens receiving vital prescription drug help would increase their cost of living by an average of $430. Many of those same senior citizens will also lose $1,295 in property tax relief under Christie’s plan.

“New Jersey senior citizens cannot afford these cuts, especially when millionaires enjoy an $8,030 tax break. “Eliminating these senior cuts needs to be one of first priorities as we work through this budget.”

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