TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Robert Auth today blasted Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to raid a fund to pay funeral costs for fallen firefighters to fill a hole in his FY2020 budget. The proposal to take $33 million from the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association relief fund is buried on page 552 of Murphy’s 592-page budget plan.
“Murphy is hijacking funds committed to the brave firefighters who serve our residents and their families,” said Auth (R-Bergen). “This reprehensible betrayal of selfless volunteers is fueled by the irresponsible $1.2 billion spending increase in the governor’s budget.”
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 help pay for burials.
“This proves the governor’s priorities are out of line and unsustainable,” said Auth. “Out-of-control spending will cripple the state economy. Taxpayers are at the breaking point, but stealing money from firefighters isn’t the answer.”