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(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement Wednesday in response to Tuesday comments by Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce that unemployment benefits “are too good for these people”:

“Just as it did everywhere, the global recession hit New Jersey hard, impacting people from all walks of life and communities. Few were left unscathed.
“So that leaves me wondering who exactly Assembly Republican Leader DeCroce meant when he referred to ‘these people’ when discussing his desire to cut unemployment help for out-of-work New Jerseyans.
“Republican Leader DeCroce owes an explanation to the people of New Jersey as to whom exactly he was talking about when he referenced ‘these people.’ I would even invite the Republican leader to bring ‘these people’ to a legislative hearing so we can meet them in person.
“An apology to out-of-work residents is also in order. Trust me – no one surviving on unemployment benefits is enjoying the experience and living the good life. To even imply such a thing is insulting.
“Far too often lately we’ve seen the tone of the discussion around state public policy devolve into blaming others, but out-of-work New Jerseyans are not to blame for the troubles facing our state. It’s time for this blame game to end. I invite Republican Leader DeCroce to instead devote his time to helping pass our job creation and economic development package.”