SENATOR TURNER SAYS GOVERNOR HAS TURNED HIS BACK ON RESIDENTS IN NEED

Senator Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer, a sponsor of the bill to enable the Legislature to set judicial pension contributions, speaks about her bill on the Senate Floor.

TRENTON — Senator Shirley Turner (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) issued the following statement in regards to Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of legislation that would have protected low-income households from painful cuts in food stamp benefits at no cost to state taxpayers.

The bill, S-1893, would have established a $21 minimum in home energy assistance to help ensure that tens of thousands of New Jersey SNAP households won’t see a loss in food stamp benefits. Without the increase in heating assistance, these households will now lose on average an extra $90 per month in food stamp benefits when the new income guidelines — part of the federal Farm Bill signed into law in February — become effective. The new guidelines increase the level of heating assistance as a criterion in food stamp benefits.

“Gov. Christie has turned his back again on the low-income people of New Jersey who are in the most need of assistance, particularly senior citizens and children. This bill is critical given that New Jersey’s low-income families are already struggling to pay for the bare essentials, like heat and food,” said Turner.  “A $90 per month reduction in nutrition benefits is a devastating loss for low-income households, especially since the cost of food and utilities have skyrocketed.  Struggling working families and senior citizens will be forced to choose whether to heat or eat.”

“The Governor vetoed the budget language that would have restored the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income households.  His veto of the SNAP bill is a double whammy for the poor.  Additionally, the assistance had the potential to return millions of federal dollars to New Jersey and more in terms of economic benefit,” Turner said.

The bill, S-1893, would have established a $21 minimum in home energy assistance to help ensure that tens of thousands of New Jersey SNAP households won’t see a loss in food stamp benefits. Without the increase in heating assistance, these households will now lose on average an extra $90 per month in food stamp benefits when the new income guidelines — part of the federal Farm Bill signed into law in February — become effective. The new guidelines increase the level of heating assistance as a criterion in food stamp benefits.

 

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