Senator Says That in Light of New Info, Governor Should Restore Health Funding
TRENTON – State Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, the Chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee and prime sponsor of bills to overturn Governor Christie’s cuts to women’s health and family planning programs in New Jersey, issued the following statement today after the latest revenue projections by the State Treasurer and the Office of Legislative Services note that New Jersey will be receiving a total tax windfall of more than $900 million over the current and pending fiscal years:
“For the better part of a year, Governor Christie has waged a war against women’s health by failing to make even a minimum investment in the family planning centers that have served as the primary care providers for thousands of New Jersey women. He has tried, often painfully, to make his argument purely on budgetary terms, even while his actions would point to pure ideology.
“First, during the course of this year’s budget deliberations, we’ve found out that our proposed source for funding women’s healthcare which the Governor rejected last year – an employee prescription drug account – was actually over-budgeted at a level which would have adequately covered the Governor’s cuts to women’s health and family planning programs.
“Now, with the state prepared to see a revenue windfall, we can finally find out which Chris Christie has actually been calling the shots — the one who claims to only care about budgets, or the one who cares about sharpening his national right-wing bona fides.
“Fully restoring women’s health funds – and applying for any federal aid for which the state is eligible – would take less than one-tenth of one-percent of the new revenue now being anticipated. But it would have a direct impact on thousands of women whose health care choices now consist of facing long waits at the state’s remaining clinics, going to the emergency room where care is more expensive, or going without. In terms of the budget, it would be a drop in a very large bucket that could save the state many times more in the long run. In terms of public policy, it’s simply a no-brainer.
“With the budget, the governor now has a chance to sign the armistice that will end his war on women and reverse the damage his ill-conceived cut caused in the first place. There is absolutely no good reason for him not to.”