NJ Politics Digest: Murphy Signs Homeless Assistance Measures

Phil Murphy (left) and Steve Sweeney

Phil Murphy (left) and Steve Sweeney. Christian Hetrick for Observer

When Gov. Phil Murphy vetoed a measure aimed at guaranteeing emergency assistance for homeless people during a cold snap earlier this year, Senate President Steve Sweeney called it a cold act on the coldest day of the year.

On Tuesday, however, Murphy signed a pair of bills to close gaps in coverage for homeless people, according to a report by The Record.

The bills limits state spending on housing assistance under the program to $20 million, with another $5 million earmarked for case management services, according to the report. This addresses Murphy’s concerns that the plan basically amounted to a blank check New Jersey might not be able to pay.

While housing advocates had expressed dismay at the governor’s earlier veto, on Tuesday they sang Murphy’s praises, saying the measure is a crucial thread in the social safety net.

Quote of the Day: “I don’t see any way how those fees are not going to be passed on to the patients. There’s never been a tax by manufacturers that hasn’t been,”  — Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, on a Murphy administration proposal to impose $21.5 million in new taxes on opioid manufacturers and distributors.

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