Latino Action Network Calls on Governor Christie to Compromise with Legislature on Budget
For Immediate Release: June 29, 2011
Frank Argote-Freyre, President – 908-670-0552
Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair, Public Policy Committee – 732-496-9628
The Latino Action Network [LAN] today called on Governor Christie to compromise with the State Legislature on the current budget after carefully analyzing its impact on the Latino community.
Budget bill A-4200 softens the impact on the Latino community by doing the following:
- Adds $660 million in aid for non-Abbott school districts with “at-risk” low-income students. $447 million were already mandated by a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision for Abbott districts.
- It softens the impact on Medicaid and FamilyCare eligibility, which Governor Christie has cruelly sought to reduce.
- Restores funding for some Latino community-based non-profits by providing additional funds for the Hispanic Women’s Resource Centers, the Center for Hispanic Policy Research and Development and Division of Youth and Family Services community support services.
“For the last two years this Governor has endorsed measures that have disproportionately hurt the economically vulnerable, working families, and the middle class,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, President of the Latino Action Network. “Governor Christie has perpetuated the myth of shared sacrifice, but has asked nothing of the wealthiest citizens and the corporate interests. He has distinguished himself as a coddler of the wealthy and a miser to the poor.”
An analysis by the Latino Action Network indicates that the Legislature’s budget softens cuts to FamilyCare and Medicaid advocated by Governor Christie. The Governor’s proposed budget looks to save $300 million by asking the federal government to approve a waiver freezing adults out of FamilyCare by lowering eligibility to families earning less than $5,000 a year, and by restricting Medicaid eligibility. The LAN is urging the federal government to reject Governor’s Christie’s application seeking the new restrictions.
The Legislature’s budget alternative also restores just over $2 million to the Center for Hispanic Policy Research and Development, an agency that was decimated last year as a result of a 75% percent reduction in funding. “Governor Christie has virtually dismantled the Center which has served as an important institution in the community for more than three decades,” noted Daniel Santo Pietro, Chair of the LAN’s Public Policy Committee. “LAN expects that all Latino legislators will take a leadership role in promoting Latino needs and pressure the Governor to compromise on these areas important to our community.”
The Latino Action Network was founded in 2009 to fight for political empowerment and defend civil rights. It is the largest statewide advocacy organization dedicated to championing issues of concern to the Latino community.