To all NJ governors: Leave the firefighters’ money alone! (Opinion)
I'm thinking we should let the New Jersey firefighters run the state, or at least balance the budget. They seem to know how to stay solvent so much so that our governors know where to go when they need to find money.
First, Governor Christie Whitman borrowed from the pension fund, which New Jersey is still trying to pay back, now Governor Murphy wants to take $33 million from a special fund dedicated to support firefighters in times of health and burial crisis and throw it into the general fund. How dare he!
I come from a family of firefighters, starting with my father Albert, who served 30 years at the 16th street fire house in Union City, my uncle Nicholas who did the same on 29th street, my oldest friend Robbo, who's a North Hudson fire captain and my friend Mitchell Gerrity, who's also a firefighter. This hits home as Pisani says, "This isn't about Democrats vs Republicans, this is about rich people taking from poor people."
He goes on to say, "This guy wants to take money from our fund, not return the money, just put it in the general fund and try to balance his budget...it's so unfair."
We're not talking about tax payer money here. According to nj.com, The president of the firefighter's union Ed Donnelly said to New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, “These dollars collected from out of state insurance companies are a safety net to help firefighters in their greatest time of hardship, and should never be used to fill a budget hole.”
It takes a lot of moxie to go after the money of the same people whose pensions you screwed with. When it comes to taking from the middle class, Murphy seems to have it. This was a sneaky one sentence proposal in the governor's exorbitant budget plan.
According to Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, New Jersey's budget is $200 billion in the hole. All the sports betting and marijuana taxes won't make a dent in that, so the governor must find money to not only balance the budget, but pay for all his great ideas like lawyers for illegals, and free college tuition. Perhaps those could be places to go if you are indeed looking to find money for the general fund.
But not the firefighters who risk their lives trying to keep us safe and protect our homes at the risk of injuries, PTSD, cancer, and of course early death. Every time these brave men go to work, there's a chance they're going to put their life on the line fighting a fire.
I say we return the favor by putting this fire out for them.
More from New Jersey 101.5: