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Gov. Murphy backs away from $33M diversion from firefighters fund

TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy announced Wednesday his support for preserving $33 million in funding in the New Jersey Firemen’s Association fund for the upcoming fiscal year 2020 budget. The fund is supported by a two percent tax on fire insurance policies written by out-of-state insurers on New Jersey properties, which brings in about $30 million annually.

“We have listened to the concerns of our brothers and sisters in the firefighter community, whom I have the utmost respect and admiration for,” said Governor Murphy. “As a result, I can say unequivocally that we are taking this budget option off the table. The Administration remains committed to ensuring that no family of a fallen New Jersey firefighter will go without help during their greatest time of need. I remain open to working with the Legislature to explore options to loosen the restrictions on the use of these funds so we can provide greater assistance for firefighters and their families.”

“We thank the Governor for hearing us out and taking our concerns to heart,” said Eddie Donnelly, President of the New Jersey Fighters Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA). “This fund provides critical services to our families during extremely difficult times and we are pleased that this mission will not be altered.”

“I want to thank the Administration for being willing to listen and remaining fluid in their position on the use of these funds,” said Dominick Marino, President of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey. “We look forward to continuing to work with them to build upon the core mission of this fund.”

“This is welcome news and we thank the Governor and his Administration for being receptive to our concerns,” said Robert Ordway, President of the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association. “The Firemen’s Association has a long, proud legacy in this state and we are grateful that the Administration is committed to maintaining that legacy.”

The New Jersey State Firemen’s Association was created in 1885 to provide support for New Jersey firefighters and their families, including burial benefits and financial assistance for firefighters in need, as well as funding for the New Jersey Firemen’s Home, a licensed, long-term health care facility for firefighters in Boonton. The fund serves both career and volunteer firefighters and their families, both active-duty and retired.

The Firefighter’s Association fund will continue to retain more than six years-worth of program costs, totaling roughly $185 million.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook

Governor Phil Murphy official headshot in Trenton, N.J. on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

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