Press Release: Murphy’s budget gimmick burns money dedicated to firefighters

TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to raid more than $30 million from a special fund dedicated to helping the state’s firefighters was condemned today by Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney.

 “Governor Murphy, once again, refuses to acknowledge New Jersey’s affordability crisis. Instead of cutting spending, Murphy’s budget relies on gimmicks that take funding away from our first responders,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “Stealing from our firefighters does not create a ‘stronger and fairer New Jersey’’ Murphy should be cutting spending and saving taxpayer money.” 

The firemen’s relief fund, created in 1885, is funded by a 2 percent tax on fire insurance policies written by companies from out of state. The money is intended to help firefighters with medical bills and pay for burials of fallen firefighters. 

“Murphy’s bloated budget increases sending by $1.2 billion to fund his pet projects,” said Rooney, a member of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. “This money grab is not fair to the firefighters or the residents who rely on them to protect their lives and property. Keep your hands off the relief fund, governor.” 

Murphy’s proposal is one sentence buried on page 552 of his 592-page budget plan. 

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