TRENTON, N.J. – At an invitation-only budget roundtable for Passaic County elected officials today, Gov. Phil Murphy reneged on his plan to raid $33 million from a special fund dedicated to helping the state’s firefighters and their families facing tragedy or financial hardship.
“I thank my fellow lawmakers who joined me in denouncing Gov. Murphy’s plot to steal from our firefighters to plug holes in his bloated budget proposal,” said Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, who attended the roundtable. “When the governor told us it was no longer happening this afternoon, I felt like he had come to his senses. He responded to the outcry in the way we all hoped he would.”
The proposal to take money away from the relief fund, known as the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association, is one sentence buried on page 552 of Murphy’s 592-page budget plan. The NJSFA helps pay for expenses like burials for fallen firefighters, the educational needs of their widows and surviving children, and costly medical bills.
“Our firefighters serve our communities with honor. They should be respected and supported – not robbed for being responsible and putting away money,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “I hope we can now move toward actually creating a stronger and fairer New Jersey.”