Kenny: Minority Leader Playing Party Politics With People’s Lives

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Bernard F. Kenny Jr. today responded to Senator Leonard Lance’s statement criticizing the Joint Budget Oversight Committee’s approval of a $5 million transfer to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson.

“Senator Lance today attempted to play politics with a valuable State program which provides a health care safety net for the uninsured,” said Senator Kenny, D-Hudson and Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Joint Budget Oversight Committee. “Charity Care is about providing reasonable quality care to people who are indigent and can not afford it. It is the moral obligation of the State to provide that care.”

“I would have thought that the Minority Leader would have respected the State’s obligation to help those economically-disadvantaged citizens who cannot afford health insurance. Instead, he exhibits a partisan mentality that divides New Jersey and takes the focus off true public service.”

“Senator Lance needs to realize that he ‘can not have it both ways,'” said Senator Kenny. “Senator Lance objects to the process in which hospital assistance grants are awarded. He voted against funding a request by St. Joseph’s Hospital on that basis, however, in the same hearing, the Senator had no problem approving a similar request by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

The Joint Budget Oversight Committee meeting complied 100% with public notice law,” explained Senator Kenny. “If Senator Lance was sincere, he would admit his political faux-pas, and turn his attention away from partisan games and towards meeting the needs of the people of New Jersey”