Turner Urges Christie To Respond To Massive Protest Rally

TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner today called on Governor Christie to respond to the massive protest rally here Saturday against his proposed budget cuts by requiring millionaires to “share in the sacrifice” needed to fund property tax relief for working families as well as homestead rebates and prescription drug discounts for New Jersey senior citizens.

“I was proud to stand with the more than 30,000 protesters from working families and seniors who sent a clear message to the Governor and to the Legislature that we all need to work together to provide property tax relief,” said Senator Turner whose 15th District includes thousands of public workers.

Senator Turner said she believed “the largest public protest in State history” represented just a fraction of the sentiment shared by millions of New Jersey residents that millionaires

should not be exempt from helping to fund programs for seniors on limited fixed incomes and worthy property tax relief proposals.

“It’s time for the Governor to fix his first budget proposal which cruelly demands that those who earn the least sacrifice the most,” Senator Turner said. “Once he takes off his blinders, he’ll see that ‘shared sacrifice’ means you don’t give a pass to those who earn the most.”

Senator Turner urged Christie to “lower the rhetoric” with legislative leaders over the next several weeks to hone a budget accord that reflects the tough economic times, but responds to the needs of those whose lives are being undermined by rising property taxes.

“The voices at Saturday’s rally should be listened to closely by all who claim to be public servants,” Senator Turner said. “Those voices will not be silenced by the ‘no-tax’ deceptions imposed by massive cuts in aid to municipalities and schools.”

Senator Turner said she was proud to attend the protest rally on West State Street in the heart of her legislative district.

“As an educator and public servant, I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with my constituents and the tens of thousands of working families across New Jersey who are being hit from all directions by the ongoing recession and the consequences of Governor Christie’s proposed budget cuts,” she said.

In reaching a compromise budget agreement in the coming weeks, Governor Christie would do well to learn from the lessons of history, Senator Turner said.

“Under eight years of President Bush, millionaires received generous tax breaks, but history has proven that ‘trickle-down’ economics did not work then and it won’t work now,” she said. “By further shifting the tax burden on to the middle class and taxing senior citizens and low income families out of their homes and out of New Jersey, Governor Christie would only be continuing the failed policies of the past.”

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