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Money Allocated for Utility Assistance Grants Not Yet Distributed

(TRENTON) — Assemblywomen Connie Wagner and Annette Quijano on Tuesday questioned why Gov. Christie and his administration has not yet distributed $25 million in grants that help families in need and seniors on fixed incomes with their utility bills.

The legislators issued the following statements:

Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), vice chair, Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee:

“The legislation approving this year’s utility assistance grants has been on the books since January 15 yet, by all accounts, the governor has not yet even begun the process of awarding the money to the organizations who distribute it.

“These grants allow New Jersey families in need to keep their homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. With colder weather already creeping up on us, Gov. Christie must act — and act now — lest the families that depend on these grants are left out in the cold.

“Come December, it would truly be a shame to see millionaires enjoying their tax break while we watch families in need slowly freeze, all because the governor decided to drag his feet.”

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union), member, Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee:

“Winter is less than two months away and we have already had nights that have dipped into the low 40’s in New Jersey, yet Gov. Christie insists on stalling the distribution of utility assistance grant funds.

“This money has been allocated for months and New Jerseyans across the state depend on it to keep warm during the bitter winter months.

“This money needs to be distributed, and quickly. If not, then we can only surmise that seniors and families in need have joined the ranks of middle class homeowners and working class women as groups Governor Christie thinks the state cannot afford to support.”