New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Senator Joe Kyrillos

Kyrillos: $332 Million Generated from FCC Spectrum Sale Should Be Reinvested in NJ

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Calls for NJTV to Receive Share, Majority Remainder to Fight Opioid Abuse

Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) called for the $332 million realized by the State through a recent FCC broadcast television spectrum sale to be reinvested in important programs for New Jerseyans.

Sen. Joe Kyrillos called for the $332 million realized by the State through a recent FCC broadcast television spectrum sale to be reinvested in important programs for New Jerseyans. (Wikimedia Commons)

“The millions New Jersey received from the sale of excess, valuable television spectrum that was owned by the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority should not be allowed to disappear into the black hole of the state budget,” said Kyrillos. “We have an opportunity to fund critical infrastructure needs of NJTV, the state’s public television network, and support opioid treatment programs in a responsible fashion.”

Kyrillos called for 10 percent — approximately $33 million — of the spectrum sale proceeds to be dedicated to the needs of NJTV, with the remainder — approximately $300 million — dedicated to fighting opioid abuse.

The Monmouth Senator noted that this dedication of funds for drug treatment under his plan is equivalent in size to the Governor’s proposal to redirect $300 million from Horizon’s reserves for that purpose.

“Based on the many concerns that have been raised, it is unlikely that the Legislature will advance the Horizon proposal,” added Kyrillos. “Governor Christie should be commended for his dedication to fighting the scourge of addiction and substance abuse that has ravaged too many New Jersey communities. He has been a real leader on this issue, and I hope to work with him to advance a proposal to fund drug treatment at the levels he has recommended.”

Horizon has expressed serious concerns that the Governor’s proposal would negatively impact their ability to maintain required reserves, and credit ratings agencies, including Standard & Poor’s, have warned that such a diversion would impact the insurance carrier’s stable outlook.

“If $300 million is the amount the Governor believes is needed for drug treatment in New Jersey, this plan accomplishes that goal,” said Kyrillos. “Most importantly, it does so without putting the healthcare of millions of New Jerseyans who are covered by Horizon at risk.”

Kyrillos will introduce a State budget resolution incorporating the proposed funding dedications.

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