Governor Murphy wants to take $33 Million from Firemen's Association

Firefighters across the state are up in arms about a proposal to move $33 Million dollars set aside to help firefighters in need into the state's general fund. Where the money could be spent on whatever Trenton politicians want to spend it on. Firefighters and legislators across the state have expressed outrage at Murphy's proposal but the Governor doubled down on his plan yesterday. Saying the fund has six times the amount of money it needs. The New Jersey State Firemen's Association was organized 134 years ago to assist firefighters in need. The fund covers the burial costs of firemen and the costs of the New Jersey Firemen's home. All of Sussex County's firefighters are volunteers. These are the only benefits they receive. Across the state 80 percent of firefighters are volunteers. The money in the fund comes from a 2 percent tax on homeowner's insurance premiums. Last year $33 million dollars came in. Half of that went to local relief groups. Robert Ordway head of the Firemen's Association says the rest of the money that came in went to pay $10 Million in burial expenses while another $10 Million went to the Firemen's Home. Another $3 Million went to administrative expenses. A state audit shows local relief associations for firefighters have a total surplus of $180 Million which Murphy claims could encourage fraud. Sussex County's State Legislators blasted the Governor's proposal yesterday. In a joint release Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths said Murphy should keep his "Hands Off" money dedicated to help firefighters and their families. Just like every other administration has in the past. Assemblyman Space has been a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years. In my opinion this really shows where the governor's soul is. Money paid by taxpayers to assist firefighters should go to firefighters. Every penny of it. If the 2 percent tax on insurance premiums is raising too much money. Then return the surplus funds to the taxpayers in the form of a lower tax or a one time rebate. Putting the money into the state's general fund just creates a new hidden tax and would itself be a fraud.

Source: NJ.COM

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