News Department

Senator Bucco applauds funding for key Morris County initiatives

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Senate Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco issued the following statement in response to several key resources and programs receiving critical funding in Morris County.

“Homeless shelters, schools, hospitals and even arts centers all play a crucial role in building prosperous communities. I am pleased to know that through the legislative budget process, several key services and educational programs have received necessary funding to address critical county issues,” said Bucco (R-25). “These groups uplift and provide care for everyone who they come in contact with. I am extremely proud of the bipartisan legislative work that went into securing these important investments.”

The following individuals expressed their gratitude for the funding they received through the legislative budget process and the work of Senator Bucco:

Dan McGuire, Chief Executive Officer of Homeless Solutions said, “Homelessness in Morris County is accelerating at unprecedented levels. Inflationary pressures and surging rents have forced 1,200 unduplicated households on waitlists for shelter or homeless housing vouchers. At the same time, shifting federal priorities have eliminated funding for shelters, and the post-COVID labor market has sharply increased personnel costs — the greatest expense at a large 24/7 shelter. As a result, Homeless Solutions now faces a structural funding challenge at the exact moment when homelessness in Morris County is spiking. We are grateful that, when we approached Senator Bucco about the situation, he immediately grasped the significance of the problem and the implications for Morris County and its most vulnerable residents. HSI is grateful for his leadership in getting $200,000 included in the NJ State budget. These critical funds will allow us to keep all of our shelter beds open while a structural funding solution can be arrived at with county and state officials.”

Dr. Anthony Iacono, President of County College of Morris said, “County College of Morris is deeply grateful for the support of the New Jersey state legislature in securing the necessary funding to build a state-of-the-art health care facility to ensure area hospitals, medical providers, and dental offices have a pipeline of well-educated and highly skilled professionals. We give a special nod of recognition to Leader Bucco, Senator Pennacchio, Senator Oroho, Senator Sarlo, and Senator Scutari for their robust support. Morris County is especially fortunate to have exceptional leadership in the New Jersey legislature. Without their support, construction of this building and the tremendous impact it will have on the medical community and area residents would not be possible.”

Allison Larena, President, and CEO of the Mayo Performing Arts Center said, “Mayo Performing Arts Center thanks Senator Bucco for his continued support and assistance in obtaining generous support in this year’s budget that will help MPAC expand its arts education programs. This transformational expansion will enable even more children and families from our community to be inspired and uplifted by the power of the performing arts for generations to come.”

Mrs. Jeanne Howe, Superintendent of Schools at Jefferson Township Public Schools said, “Despite the ongoing adverse effects of S-2 reductions on Jefferson Township Public Schools’ budget, we are grateful to Senator Bucco for his persistent support for our schools. With his support, we anticipate additional funding to dedicate to capital improvement projects in the district. In spite of the budget reductions, we have been able to expand our preschool program to include 10 additional classrooms for our youngest learners through the Preschool Expansion Aid.”

James V. McLaughlin, Ed.D, Superintendent at Dover Public School District said, “The Dover Schools are truly appreciative of Senator Bucco’s efforts to secure additional funding for the Dover Schools. We continue to make progress regarding our per-pupil expenditures due to state aid increases, however, our school budget remains millions of dollars below adequacy. To every extent possible we seek to support our aging infrastructure while seeking out the additional space needed for our growing population of students and the expansion of services required for our student body. This funding will allow the district to move forward with a renovation of our science labs at Dover High Schools. The original labs date back to the original construction of the high school and are nearly 60 years old and outdated. Two years ago, the district was able to renovate two of the four labs but competing priorities have not allowed for complete renovation. This funding will allow the district to complete the renovation for the remaining two classrooms and provide students with a learning environment conducive to a 21st-century study of the sciences.”

Diane Williams, President, and CEO at JBWS said, “Senator Bucco’s advocacy for additional funding in the budget for JBWS couldn’t have come at a better time. The number of families impacted by domestic violence needing emergent and longer-term housing and support services in Morris County has been skyrocketing. Victims continue to be in need of safe housing, food, clothing, and support and domestic violence is still the leading cause of homelessness for women and children. The increase in substance abuse and onset and exacerbation of mental health issues since the pandemic has taken an already volatile situation and magnified the concerns and need for safety for families impacted by domestic violence. JBWS continues to address this need by offering safety, support, and solutions to those families. Without these options survivors and their children often have no other choice but to return to abusive homes or become homeless. This funding has helped save and change lives and for that we are eternally grateful to Senator Bucco.”

Morris County Sherriff James Gannon said, “This year we enjoyed a fantastic Summer season on Lake Hopatcong. Our Marine Patrol Units were active throughout and were continually keeping everyone safe by making frequent contacts with recreationists. Next season we anticipate having two new Marine Patrol Units on Lake Hopatcong all thanks to a $250,000 allocation made possible by our Senator, Senator Anthony M. Bucco. His efforts to secure this funding and help address this need is truly appreciated. The funding will help immensely as we work to accomplish our safety objectives on the lake.”

Barbara Francisco, Business Administrator and Board Secretary at West Milford Township Public Schools said, “We would like to thank Senator Anthony Bucco for recognizing the fiscal insecurity that the S2 state aid reductions have created for the West Milford Township Public Schools. We appreciate his continued support of the students and the community by securing an additional $200,000 for the 2023-2024 school year. These additional funds will provide us with an opportunity to begin to address security upgrades at our elementary schools. It will also allow us to replace outdated Algebra and Geometry textbooks including the online licensing. We are grateful for Senator Bucco’s proactive focus on education and his championing the West Milford Township Public Schools.”

Robert Davison, Chief Executive Officer at Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, Inc. said, “Sen. Bucco is a leader that represents all his constituents, including those with mental health and addiction struggles — issues that impact all families at some point. It’s reassuring to know that Sen. Bucco is there for the Mental Health Association, so the Mental Health Association can be there for the community. His leadership makes a difference in people’s lives at a time when they need the help most.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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