(Skillman, NJ) -- On Sunday, July 2nd, Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker released the following statement about the current budget impasse and resulting government shutdown:
"Disagreements in politics are inevitable, but the disagreements over this budget were not good faith disputes over funding priorities. Instead, the Governor threatened to eliminate school aid increases and other important programs if we do not meet his demands, and he has now shut down our state government to make good on those threats. This is no way to lead, and the people of New Jersey deserve better.
The controversial proposal on Horizon, which I cannot support in its current form, remains at the center of this harmful impasse and government shutdown. With the attacks on the Affordable Care Act in Washington, D.C., the future of healthcare is uncertain, and tens of millions of Americans in New Jersey and around the country are at risk of losing their health insurance. Lives are literally at stake. While we absolutely must ensure that Horizon is acting in a responsible, accountable way, we should do so through our usual legislative process. Tying the Horizon proposal to the State’s budget is arbitrary and unnecessary.
On Thursday I did not vote on the proposed budget to allow more time for the Legislature and the Governor to strike a compromise that would ensure his signature on the budget as it is, which includes critically important funds for property tax relief, healthcare, infrastructure and school aid. In my legislative district alone, school districts in Manville, Somerville Borough and Montgomery would receive much-needed boosts in funding, to the benefit of thousands of children.
While the budget is not perfect, particularly because of a flawed lottery-pension scheme it incorporates, on Friday I voted yes to ensure that we did not shut down the government.
I am always proud and grateful to serve the 16th Legislative District in the General Assembly. I urge all New Jerseyans to contact the Governor and urge him to commit to signing the budget in its entirety without conditions, and end the shutdown."