Valerie's Voice: Budget Update NJ FY 2018

“Let us not seek the Republican answer, or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future” – John F. Kennedy

 

After midnight in Trenton a budget is signed…

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I worked tirelessly alongside Speaker Prieto and my Assembly colleagues to pass a budget that reflects our democratic principles. Nobody wanted a government shutdown, but at the end of the day, we have reached an agreement that puts the taxpayers first, protects democratic priorities aimed at safeguarding the most vulnerable among us, and reaches a fair compromise when it comes to our state's largest health insurer. 

Proud to be a prime sponsor of A5129

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Speaker Vincent Prieto, Assemblymembers Elizabeth Maher Muoio, Raj Mukherji, Ralph Caputo

This legislation clarifies the role of health service corporations, revises membership of board of directors, regulates surplus, and requires timely publication of certain information by the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI). It will protect ratepayers, increase transparency and maintain stability in the market at a time when there is a heightened sense of uncertainty. 

Budget vote passes and ends government shutdown

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On Monday, July 3, the new Horizon legislation led to the conclusion of the budget impasse and therefore allowed for the reopening of New Jersey State government

What's in and out of budget FY 2018

This is one of the more favorable budgets the governor has signed. It protects many of our core priorities and lends funding to important programs.

  • $28.5 million for Hudson-Bergen LTR Northern Extension
  • $20 million to increase the salaries of workers caring for people with developmental disabilities
  • $20 million to provide cost-of-living-adjustments to DDD, DCF, and DVRS community providers
  • $10 million for NJIT Engineering Makerspace
  • $8 million for prisoner re-entry programs throughout the state
  • $5.25 million for Nursing Homes/SCNFs/Assisted Living
  • $5 million to EOF programs
  • $3 million to provide security at each of the NJ Trauma Centers
  • $3 million for Paid Family Leave outreach and claims processing
  • $2.8 million for NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • $2.2 million for Domestic Violence and Rape Prevention
  • $2 million for cancer research
  • $1 million to the Reed Foundation
  • $1 million for expansion of Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ in Newark
  • $850 thousand for CASA
  • $500 thousand to restore Housing First pilot program to aid the homeless
  • $250 thousand for Latino Action Network Hispanic Women’s Resource Centers
  • $200 thousand for the Adler Aphasia Center
  • $145 thousand for Boys & Girls
  • $125 thousand for Project S.A.R.A.H
  • $100 thousand to the Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission

However, the governor did use his executive powers to line item veto certain language that will hurt some of our most vulnerable and needy families.

These changes include:

  • Eliminating language that would have increased assistance for heating and cooling utility costs for those receiving food assistance benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Eliminating language that would have tied the amount of assistance provided under Work First New Jersey’s temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF) program to the size of the household in the event that a family has another child
  • Eliminating language that would have ensured that $25 million in funding for preschool expansion went to school districts with the highest concentrations of at-risk students
  • Eliminating language that would have secured half of any environmental settlement for municipalities to use for legal service fees, and for funding environmental clean-up projects

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, ideas, or concerns. 

For more information, I invite you to visit my website at www.valeriehuttle.com.

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Valerie Vainieri Huttle

Assemblywoman, District 37