Gov. Christie Releases more than $33 Million from Fiscal Reserve; Agudah NJ Director says funds will help keep our children safe

rabbi schnall tlsGovernor Chris Christie today ordered the immediate release of $33.4 million in appropriations that were temporarily reserved.

“Following last week’s meeting of the State Health Benefits Commission, we moved closer to realizing common sense health plan savings and addressing a potential $250 million budget deficit resulting from growing state health care costs. Just as I released all Fiscal Year 2017 Transitional Aid funds last month as progress was made in attaining savings, I am now directing the release of more than $33 million in select appropriations that were placed into reserve under my Executive Order 209,” said Governor Christie.

State employee health care benefits cost state taxpayers over $3.25 billion annually. EO-209 was issued in July in direct response to the Legislature’s inability to responsibly budget for the State’s existing health care costs and force the enactment of common sense, reasonable health benefit reforms.

Until additional savings are enacted, the balance of previously reserved appropriations added by the Legislature will remain in reserve.

Agudah NJ Director Rabbi Avi Schnall – who recently announced a call for action to urge the release of the funds – welcomed the news.

“The recent terror attacks in New Jersey and New York have highlighted the need for us to be more vigilant in our hishtadlus to better secure our schools and the great need for these funds,” Rabbi Schnall told TLS. “We are very relieved that the Governor has released the Nonpublic school security funds and that our schools can now put them to good use, keeping our children safe.”

A chart of the programs covered by the appropriations released is below.

[TLS]

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