HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – Hunterdon County Commissioner John E. Lanza this week questioned how Governor Murphy could approve a state budget that cut aid to twenty Hunterdon County school districts by more than $3 million, while awarding hundreds of millions in pork for favored legislators’ projects, including $10 million in additional aid to North Bergen schools.
Calling it more than an outrage, Lanza said he would send the state budget pork list to the Hunterdon County school districts that had their aid cut, so they could seek answers from the majority party legislators that represent the County, as to their failure to gain funds for Hunterdon County’s school children and property taxpayers.
Lanza said, “Twenty Hunterdon County school districts have had $3.3 million in aid cut in the state budget approved last week, while majority party legislators found millions for their pet projects, including $15 million to knock down buildings in Camden and an unexplained $10 million for North Bergen schools. And what is particularly galling is the fact that North Bergen schools had already received a $3 million school aid increase in the original proposed budget. One district getting nearly as much as was cut from Hunterdon County schools, plus now $10 million more.”
“The budget pork included $500,000 for a band shell in Hopewell, $300,000 for the Paramus Public Library, and $24 million to build a new museum in Jersey City. There is more, but the majority in Trenton is so embarrassed that they refused to reveal the complete list of the pork before the legislature voted on the budget bill,” Lanza said.
“The real question is why those in the majority party representing Hunterdon County thought that every one of these pork projects was a higher priority than our schools,” Lanza said.