Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) criticized Governor Murphy’s State of the State address.
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asw. Serena DiMaso criticized the Governor for his unrealistic portrayal of conditions in the State. (SenateNJ.com)
“The administration seems to be painting a much rosier picture of what has, and is, happening in the state right now,” said O’Scanlon “Chief among those misconceptions is the statement that they have protected businesses and grants from the EDA have allowed businesses to stay open. While I’m sure those grants or loans have helped some, they haven’t made up for the months-overdue increase in restaurant capacity. Nor have they addressed just how difficult it was for business owners to navigate the cumbersome state application process. At the same time, the Governor has vetoed several of my bipartisan bills that would increase grants and aid to the restaurant and hospitality industry.”
“I’m glad to see the Governor acknowledge that small business is the backbone of our community. Unfortunately actions speak louder than words,” DiMaso stated. “We hear every day from our small business community of the trials they face which it seems this government has turned a deaf ear to. Many of the grants which have saved businesses were because Monmouth County’s leadership, and other counties around the state stood together to ensure that small businesses received necessary funding quickly.”
Throughout his address, Governor Murphy lauded the administration’s New Jersey being the last state in the Northeast to reopen indoor dining. The Governor also praised the looming minimum wage increase which is set to devastate hundreds more struggling businesses.
“Businesses have been shutting their doors for good day after day since the pandemic began. We could have been open at 50 percent all summer long, as we saw in other states, with no health implications. The notion that we’ve been consistent in our decisions isn’t something to be proud of when they’ve consistently kept restaurants closed and crushed despite scientific evidence.” O’Scanlon continued.
“Despite the Governor’s assertions about his administration’s commitment to transparency, we have no idea where millions from the federal government for COVID relief are actually going. Is it being spent or is it being hoarded?” said DiMaso. “We understand that these are trying times, when tough decisions need to be made, but trying times require transparency, reassurance, and taxpayer confidence, all of which seem to be missing during critical leadership decisions.”
Taxpayers have also borne witness to never-ending unemployment issues and consistently massive long lines at Motor Vehicle Commission – two additional glaring failures over the last several months.
“The Governor’s claim that we haven’t kicked the can down the road is absurd. A few months ago, we stood in budget hearings being told that $9 billion in borrowing capacity was critical to our immediate financial survival. Only it seems that not only did we only need half of that amount, but a portion was being hidden away in the state coffers to show a budget surplus. This is the exact definition of kicking the can down the road; borrowing unnecessary money for future taxpayers to deal with instead of making the hard, essential pension and health benefits reforms we all know that we need. New Jersey’s residents have a much longer memory than that nor are they fooled by this rose-tinted view the administration has painted,” O’Scanlon concluded.