MEDIA ADVISORY – Senators To Hold News Conference Tomorrow To Urge Governor To Act On Women’s Health Funding

Lawmakers note 10 days since bill was approved, 8 days since funding dried up

TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg and members of the State Senate who voted for S-2139, legislation to restore $7.5 million in funding for women’s health and family planning services which was cut from the FY 2011 State Budget, will hold a news conference tomorrow, Thursday, July 8, to urge Governor Christie to act on the bill.

“It’s been 10 days since the Legislature sent S-2139 to the Governor’s Desk for his consideration, and it’s been 8 days since the start of the new fiscal year, when funding for valuable women’s health programs was reduced to zero,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen, and chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “It’s time that we hear from our State’s chief executive on his plans on S-2139. We’re urging the Governor to either sign the bill soon, so women can get access to basic health care, or veto it soon, so we can take the next step in working to restore these funds.”

Senator Weinberg noted that the bill was approved with bipartisan support by a veto-proof majority in the State Senate. She said that, should the Governor veto the legislation, she will push for the Legislature to consider a veto override, and hopes that the members of the Senate will continue to show bipartisan courage in standing up for women’s health.

Since July 1, lawmakers supporting women’s health and family planning funding have held three different news conferences calling on the Governor to act on the bill. So far, the Governor has not indicated any plans for immediate action.

Senator Weinberg said that she will devote the July 19 hearing of the Senate Health Committee to study the impact of a loss of funding for women’s health and family planning services on State residents. She said that hopefully, the Governor will act on the legislation before the July 19 hearing, but that if he has still not acted, she hopes to provide information to women on the accessibility of care.

The news conference will be held immediately following tomorrow’s session on property taxes in Statehouse Room 103, across from the Senate chambers.

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