Karcher Praises Funds For Fight On Front Monmouth

Key Budget Panel Approved $200,000 Transfer to Aid Efforts to Avoid BRAC Closure

TRENTON – Senator Ellen Karcher, a leading proponent in the State Legislature of efforts to save Fort Monmouth from the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, praised the move today by a key State budget panel to award $200,000 to efforts to keep the base open.

“If New Jersey’s unsuccessful in removing Fort Monmouth from the proposed BRAC closure list, then the $200,000 we’re spending to fight the ruling will be nothing compared to the economic impact in the surrounding municipalities,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “Closure of Fort Monmouth would be economically devastating to New Jersey, not to mention a step backwards for vital advancements in battlefield communication which could save the lives of our troops stationed overseas. The State seems to be standing as one against the proposed closure of Fort Monmouth though, and hopefully, we will be able to sway the BRAC commission into reconsidering their decision.”

The Joint Budget Oversight Committee (JBOC), a panel of Senate and Assembly members responsible for approving transfers of State funds, today approved a request from the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs (DMVA) for $200,000 in unspent State funds to hire several military analysts to help bolster the State’s case in keeping Fort Monmouth open. The move comes as base officials are scheduled to host a tour of Fort Monmouth for two members of the BRAC Commission — Chairman Anthony J. Principi and General Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton — tomorrow.

“The JBOC vote today is another piece of ammunition we have in our arsenal to protect Fort Monmouth, and shows just how vital a component of the community the base is,” said Senator Karcher. “The closure of Fort Monmouth has brought legislators across the great partisan divide to fight as a unified front in opposition to the BRAC decision, and only through a coordinated effort can the State hope to be successful.”

Senator Karcher added that she will continue to work to save Fort Monmouth, and is scheduled to attend a rally outside Fort Monmouth tomorrow morning at 7:30 A.M. to show her support for the base.