Bayonne Board of Education Trustee Christopher Munoz spoke out about school funding, the Transportation Trust Fund and the state pension at his first Assembly fundraiser Wednesday night at the Villa Maria.
“There’s something that I’ve often said and that is: education should be left in the hands of educators, not legislators,” said fellow Bayonne BOE Trustee Mary Jane Desmond while introducing Munoz.
“It couldn’t possibly get better to have a public school educator who helps children going through public schools, go to Trenton and tell them what it’s like about being involved in public schools with public funds not coming back from the district.”
Handing off the mic after calling Munoz “our next Assemblyman from Bayonne,” the candidate spoke about school funding, pensions, and healthcare have been major concerns during the recent campaign cycle.
Munoz, who is running against Hudson County Organization-backed incumbents Nick Chiaravalloti and Angela McKnight, vocalized how to push state funding for underfunded school systems without burdening tax payers.
“My experience sitting on the board of education, and seeing the difficulties day after day, of what the district is really going through is what made me run for state Assembly,” Munoz told a room of about 75 supporters.
“Alright, we can have a great educational system, but we need to hold the state accountable: we need to make them pay their fair share. It is not fair that we put the burden completely on the Bayonne taxpayer. The state has got to pay their fair share.”
With New Jersey facing transportation funding drawbacks, he then confirmed to verify that the Transportation Trust Fund is utilized throughout Hudson County.
“I want to ensure that the Transportation [Trust] Fund is used for Hudson County and we get those pedestrian bridges on 440 that we so desperately need,” said Munoz.
He also mentioned how he aims to fix the NJ pension system crisis that when combined with local unfunded healthcare, tops at approximately $178 billion in fiscal liability, according to the State of New Jersey Debt Report from 2015.
“I would like to add a constitutional amendment to the New Jersey Constitution. I would like to add an amendment the fully funds the public employee pension system. Not only is it the right thing to do to take care of our teachers, our fireman, and our police officers, it’s actually a smart fiscal thing to do,” said Munoz.
Munoz also critiqued the Gov. Chris Christie (R) administration by implying the state’s credit is continually reduced costing millions in fees and lost tax payer dollars.
As Hudson County View first reported, Munoz is joined in his off the line campaign by veteran Jersey City Education Association operative Kristen Zadroga Hart.
The Democratic primary election is on June 6.