TRENTON – In their proposed $30.6 billion budget, the Democrats try to give a boost to Legislative District 2, where one of their prized senate soldiers faces a competitive re-election bid.
State Sen. Jim Whelan (D-2) of Atlantic City and the Democrats want an additional $712,044 for Atlantic City and $454,892 for Egg Harbor Township police and fire. They would also receive $28.7 million more for below adequacy school districts and $2.7 million for above adequacy schools in addition to $3 million more in court-ordered Abbott Schools funding.
“To be clear,” said Whelan, “the Supreme Court has said you have to fund the law that you made. In the first year of the Christie administration, he did not fund the law.”
In addition, the proposed school aid would help suburban districts, including those in the 2nd District, said Whelan, who made the point that this money is envisioned as a statewide spread and not simply a District 2 target.
Criticized by Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford for supporting the local tourism district, Whelan said the additional money for public safety would enable the city to hire more law enforcement personnel.
“Atlantic City is one of many towns that has had layoffs,” said the former mayor. “Now, they’ve brought some back, and the fact is that the state is working to honor the commitment that we are going to give the city some dollars.
Whelan’s challenger, Assemblyman Vince Polistina (R-2) of Egg Harbor Twp. Said he disapproved of the Democrats’ proposed budget.
“We have the early reports,” he said. “I am seeing a departure from the responsible budgeting we have done here in the post Jon Corzine era.”