Earlier today, Governor Murphy signed the COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act into law, allowing the state to borrow funds to address revenue shortfalls brought on by the pandemic. In response to this agreement, members of the For The Many NJ coalition release the following statements:
Sheila Reynertson, Senior Policy Analyst, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP):
“Borrowing at this level is necessary for New Jersey to keep the state running and provide relief for the families and small businesses who need it. This will protect against deep and long lasting cuts to our public schools, social safety net, health care infrastructure, and so much more. Now, lawmakers must get to work ending Christie-era tax breaks for millionaires and big corporations so the state can pay back any funds borrowed. Raising new, sustainable revenue will secure the state’s finances in the short term and set the path for a strong recovery going forward.”
Sue Altman, Executive Director, New Jersey Working Families Alliance:
“New Jersey Working Families is grateful the Legislature was able to put aside petty politics and pass this bonding bill. This pandemic is an emergency situation that requires an intervention, and now we can keep this state running. Austerity measures are not the answer — not for recession, not to fund the recovery. New Jersey’s recovery must be fair and benefit workers, residents and families, not just corporations and the already wealthy.
Marie Blistan, President, New Jersey Education Association:
“By coming to an agreement on responsible bonding to prevent devastating budget cuts, Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin have once again demonstrated real leadership as they work together to help New Jersey navigate the incredibly difficult circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While borrowing should be a last resort, it will be necessary to protect New Jersey’s working families and the services they rely on, including our public schools and county colleges. By opening up an additional source of funding, they have signaled that they are taking very seriously the needs of New Jersey students and families.”
Doug O’Malley, Director, Environment New Jersey:
“The state’s fiscal and health crisis is unprecedented and the temporary furloughs this summer already have had a chilling impact on state government to fully function. We need to do more than keep the lights on — we need to provide funding for all of our state employees who are protecting our public health and the environment. We fully support the effort to bond to prevent a crisis in state government and thank the Legislature and the Governor for their leadership.”
Justin Goldsman, Chair, Our Revolution Essex County NJ:
“The ability to borrow and bond nearly $10 Billion shows that the state may finally be on the pathway to prioritizing people amidst a global pandemic and economic recession. Essex County is not just one of the hardest hit counties in the country when it comes to COVID, but it also epitomizes incredible levels of income and wealth inequality. We must invest in the lives of every day residents of New Jersey, not in yacht sales, corporate tax deals, and gimmicks. The time is now to invest in people and our services. The time is long overdue for a budget that is transparent, equitable, and just, a budget that works for the people.”
For The Many is a statewide coalition of more than 30 organizations working collectively to expand funding for essential services and improve budget practices to adequately meet current and future needs, especially for communities that have been historically marginalized.
Steering committee members include: New Jersey Policy Perspective, New Jersey Working Families Alliance, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Work Environment Council, Environment New Jersey, Make the Road New Jersey, Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, New Jersey Education Association, Communications Workers of America – NJ, Amalgamated Transit Union – NJ, Clean Water Action – NJ.
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