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New Jersey Citizen Action Supports Proposed Local And County Bonding Legislation, Renews Call To Support NJ COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act And Raise More State Revenue

Insider NJ — May 7, 2020

Trenton — New Jersey Citizen Action issued the following statement today in support of A3971, which would allow New Jersey counties and municipalities to issue "coronavirus relief bonds", and renewed a call to support the proposed NJ COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act, which would allow the state of New Jersey to issue emergency bonds during the pandemic. The ability to bond at both the state and local level would provide urgently needed funding for relief efforts, essential public services and will help prevent New Jersey's complete financial collapse as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Counties and municipalities are struggling with both the loss of revenue and massive, unanticipated expenses because of the pandemic," said Dena Mottola Jaborska, Associate Director of New Jersey Citizen Action. "We applaud Assemblyman Benson and Assembly Speaker Coughlin for championing this legislation, which would allow county and local governments to maintain essential services for their residents, including funding to pay the salaries of first responders and health workers, at a time when New Jerseyans need them the most. We urge the full Legislature to support this legislation and adopt it into law as soon as possible.

"To survive this pandemic and rebuild we also urgently need funding for the state of New Jersey, and we renew our call to support the NJ COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act. Countless state residents are already struggling to pay for rent, food and utilities. We need funding to cover numerous relief efforts, including the rental assistance relief program proposed by Senate President Sweeney. We need funding to help cover food assistance, to provide affordable health care coverage for the increasing number of uninsured, and to provide cash assistance to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants in our state excluded from the federal stimulus and unemployment. Without funding the state of New Jersey will soon have to drastically cut back on essential services and programs, which is the last thing we need during the pandemic. We would be unable to provide relief to the increasing number of unemployed and see massive layoffs to public workers still employed.

"New Jersey needs funding now to stave off an economic disaster that will devastate our communities and our families in coming weeks and months. We urge the entire State Legislature to back the NJ COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act and to work with Governor Murphy to find new revenue sources that can support this bond proposal. Smart tax reforms would allow us to raise revenue through measures such as a millionaires tax, restoring the estate tax and closing corporate tax loopholes."

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