Speaker Prieto Statement on Today’s Budget Vote

“Today should be a good day for Democrats. We will be voting on a responsible budget that includes nearly $350 million in progressive priorities, including more money for underfunded schools, expanded preschool and improved special education. The plan has more money for domestic violence prevention, cancer research, legal services, child advocacy centers, nutrition assistance and help for care workers.

“It has more money to combat recidivism, improve care for sexual assault victims, enhance tuition assistance and support youth programs in Trenton, Newark and Paterson.

“As we saw when all Democrats on the Assembly Budget Committee voted to release the bill on Monday, this is a bill every Democrat should support for working class families.

“This budget bill is going up for a vote today. Those who support this budget will not be responsible for a state government shutdown. Any member who does not vote for this budget will be hurting working families, and if they want to shut down state government, they will be responsible for putting thousands of New Jerseyans out of work and closing vital programs and assets such as state parks, motor vehicle agencies, general assistance and unemployment offices.

“To be clear – the budget bill has nothing to do with reworking the state’s largest health insurer in four days, for no apparent reason, during a time when Trumpcare threatens millions of Americans.

“The Horizon bill is an unfair Christie tax on the insurer’s 3.8 million policyholders. I will not negotiate on that bill as part of the budget process.”