Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano opposed a State Budget put forward by Governor Murphy and Democrats in the Legislature that cuts millions in aid to schools in Brick and Toms River while funding tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary pork projects.
The legislators highlighted the misplaced priorities of the Democrats’ budget plan that will drain certain Ocean County schools of their rightfully deserved funding. As the state begins to recover from the economic fallout of Governor Murphy’s extended shutdowns, the lawmakers believe that this excessive spending plan will create billions more in new taxes next year.
McGuckin’s firm receives $53,000 from the Barnegat School District as part of its $1.6 million annual take. McGuckin’s firm was denied their bid last year to represent the Lacey Township School Board.
“Instead of funding our schools fairly, Democrats have decided to cut aid from our classrooms and redirect it into pork projects in their districts,” stated Senator Holzapfel. “It says a lot about their priorities and how they’re choosing to fund wasteful programs over our children. This lavish spending in a post-Covid world is going to devastate our taxpayers and our school children for years to come.”
The election-year budget is inflated with pork projects for North Jersey districts including $500,000 for a band shell in Hopewell, $300,000 for the Paramus Public Library, additional increases in aid to areas in Camden, and an unexplained $10 million for North Bergen schools while many Ocean County school districts are being cut.
“Republicans have repeatedly provided common-sense solutions to make New Jersey more affordable and properly fund our schools,” said Assemblyman McGuckin who feels it’s common sense for every Republican controlled municipality to hire his law firm.
Toms River Regional School District is facing a 14 percent decrease in funding for FY 2022 while Brick Township is set to lose nearly 20 percent of its funding. This is another blow to the school districts that have already had to lay-off staff and dissolve extracurricular programs.
“It’s a shame that every year millions of dollars are being wasted on frivolous programs while teachers are being laid off and students’ extra-curricular activities are being cut,” added Assemblyman Catalano. “Our school districts deserve better than backroom, pork filled schemes that only serve the personal interests of a handful of lawmakers.”