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District 10 Legislators Incensed as Murphy Favors Drug Dealers Over School Students

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Local Taxpayers Will Pay the Price for Yet Another Liberal Agenda Item

Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin and Assemblyman John Catalano today denounced Governor Murphy’s budget scheme to rob money from suburban schools to provide assistance to convicted drug dealers.

Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin and Assemblyman John Catalano today denounced Governor Murphy’s budget scheme to rob money from suburban schools to provide assistance to convicted drug dealers. (SenateNJ.com)

“Now our law-abiding citizens are being forced to take a back seat behind dope dealers and illegal immigrants,” said Holzapfel. “It is hard to imagine that even the Murphy liberals in Trenton would stoop so low to do something like this.

“The Governor’s agenda is so convoluted and twisted that he justifies picking the pockets of school kids to give money to the drug pushers who are responsible for New Jersey’s rampant opioid and overdose crisis,” Holzapfel added.

The Governor’s office is pressing legislators to support a lengthy list of bills they deem as crucial to the budget.

The 10th District lawmakers are extremely troubled by one of those bills: S-805 would revise eligibility requirements for general assistance benefits under the Work First New Jersey program, allowing individuals convicted for distribution of controlled dangerous substances to qualify.

“Murphy has set aside millions of dollars in his proposed budget for criminals, and how is he going to pay for that? He is taking the money from schools,” said McGuckin. “In our legislative district, two school districts alone, Toms River and Brick, will see their share of state funding slashed by almost $14 million. The message from Trenton is clear: school children are not as important as the drug dealers. I don’t know how our governor can sleep at night.”

This week, the Toms River regional district, facing an $8.1 million loss in state education aid, announced a tax increase along with the loss of 70 staff jobs.

State aid for the district declined by 14 percent for the current school year, and has plummeted from $71.97 million in the 2009-2010 school year to $49.7 million for 2020-2021. By next year, the annual aid will be down $30 million in a little more than a decade.

More job losses are possible in Brick, where township public schools have lost $15 million in state educational funding. The $5.3 million cut for FY 2021-2022 will only acerbate fiscal problems that forced teacher layoffs and increased class sizes to as many as 30 students per classroom.

“The loss of educational support from Trenton is painful, but for the taxpayers left holding the bag, news that millions of dollars will be diverted to help felons is more salt in the wounds,” Catalano said. “For many of the families and seniors in our district who struggle to pay their taxes in New Jersey, this affront from the Governor’s office is demoralizing and completely unjustified. Tax money should help educate our next generation of leaders, not to aid those who poisoned our neighborhoods with deadly drugs.”

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Jim Holzapfel

Senator - District 10

Greg McGuckin

Assemblyman - District 10

John Catalano

Assemblyman - District 10

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