Gov. Murphy backtracks; won’t take $33M from firefighter fund

Posted: Updated:
WEST TRENTON -

Gov. Phil Murphy has backtracked on a plan to take $33 million from a New Jersey firefighters relief fund.

At a town hall meeting in West Trenton Monday, Murphy said that the fund had too much money in it.

“The way that the money gets put in there I think needs to be re-examined…that's something that we owe firefighters to sit down and work this thing out together, which we will do.”

But after intense criticism from the New Jersey State Firefighters Association and firefighters around the state, the governor has announced that the $33 million will stay in the fund.

“We have listened to the concerns of our brothers and sisters in the firefighter community, whom I have the utmost respect and admiration for,” Murphy said in a statement. “As a result, I can say unequivocally that we are taking this budget option off the table.”

The state firemen's association fund gains revenue from a 2 percent tax on fire insurance policies written by out-of-state companies. The fund, which currently has a $185 million balance, started in 1885 to help needy firefighters and their families with expenses including burial costs.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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