Vainieri Huttle: Governor’s Heartless Line-Item Vetoes are “Quintessential Christie”

(TRENTON) – Assembly Human Services Committee Chair Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) on Thursday called the Governor’s heartless line-item budget vetoes of several critical assistance programs for needy families “quintessential Christie.”

Vainieri Huttle noted that two line-item vetoes, in particular, will have an overwhelmingly adverse impact on some of New Jersey’s poorest families – one that would have increased assistance for heating and cooling utility costs for those receiving food assistance benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and another that would have tied the amount of assistance provided under Work First New Jersey’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to the size of the household in the event that a family has another child.

“These programs, at their core, are designed to provide some of New Jersey’s most needy families with a crucial lifeline.  Denying the adjustment of their assistance because of the birth of a child ignores reality and may mean the difference between whether a family can get by or is forced to descend further into poverty.”

“At the most basic level, these vetoes will harm our most vulnerable citizens - children born into poverty who must suffer the effects of even deeper poverty because their families will now struggle to do more with less.  From a moral perspective, we should not be punishing children for their family’s struggles.  From an economic perspective, we should be working to break the cycle of poverty in order to help families find the road to self-sufficiency.

“The Governor essentially took his ‘let them eat cake’ moment from over the weekend and doubled down on it with these vetoes,” said Vainieri Huttle.