McKnight: Christie showed ‘lack of empathy’ by vetoing ‘Heat & Eat’ bill


Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31) is going after Gov. Chris Christie (R) for vetoing a bill she co-sponsored to ensure low-income residents have access to heat and healthy meals, claiming his actions show a “lack of empathy for our most vulnerable residents.” Angela V. McKnight, LD 31 Assemblywoman to rename PS 20

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I am disheartened by the governor’s lack of empathy for our most vulnerable residents,” McKnight said in a statement.

“This bill would have ensured families in New Jersey struggling to make ends meet had access to the most basic necessities. Despite what the governor might think, food and heat are not luxuries.”

The bill (A-1210) would have required the state to comply with federal minimum heating assistance contribution requirements in an effort to prevent 160,000 New Jersey households from losing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

It was part of a comprehensive effort by Assembly Democrats to lift people out of poverty and rebuild New Jersey’s middle-class.

“It speaks volumes that while other states did right by their residents, and made the necessary changes to ensure their residents continued to receive the help they needed, our governor denied low-income residents in New Jersey the same generosity,” McKnight added.

“Many of the residents affected by the governor’s veto are children, seniors and individuals with disabilities. How he justifies this indifference is beyond me.Some of us are lucky enough to not have to worry about how we will feed our families, or keep the heat running in our homes during the winter months. For many others, this is a real struggle.”

McKnight is also the founder of the Jersey-City based non-profit senior center AngelaCARES, Inc., so it should come as no surprise she feels strongly about this particular issue.

Christie’s press office did not return an email seeking comment this afternoon.

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  1. Well, we all know Christie does not know what it’s like to be hungry.

    He has no empathy, or decency. That’s why he has aligned himself with Trump.

    I hope the next governor will be more suitable to hold public office than Christie is and I hope Assemblywoman McKnight will re-introduce her bill and be able to get it passed.

  2. I’m witness to making ends meet, I’m a working senior as a social worker in a low income senior resident housing complex, most of our seniors live on minimum social security, most food stamps recipients have been cut to nearly nothing, some only receive $16.00 a month, with a total income of $764. out of which they have to pay rent, and other living expenses, not much left for healthy living…………I only know of one assemblyman who actually lived on the food stamp budget for a week…but that was only one week not the rest of your live…..many of our residents rely on food pantries for survival. I was one of the lucky ones, I lost my job at 62, and with the help of Easter Seal found a training job, making minimum wages for 20 hours of work. At the end of 7 months, I was hired as a permanent employee, and proud to say, that I’m still able to help people, but thank God for Social Security, which pays my bills, and my salary buys food and helps pay for house expenses, not much else left for a lavish life style. Angela McKnight, don’t give up on this issue, It’s important that people live with dignity.

  3. There is money for these programs, as a matter of fact money was legislated for these types of things and the funding mechanism was built into every ratepayers utility bill. It’s known as the Societal Benefits Fee and Christie has continually raided and used it as a tax to balance the budget. He should stop using those funds to plug holes in his agenda, release them to the assistance and clean energy projects that would lower utility rates or STOP including these hidden fees in our bills! And the legislature should take note, Christie, Sweeny and all the rest of the “Christiecrats” are OVER, and that goes for Norcross and the South Jeresy Christiecrats. People are on to the dark money and it’s time to step up protect the 98%!

  4. I have lived through the horrible Christie cuts since 2010 when he got rid of the adult Medicaid program in the state. Then he got rid of any discount program on nj transit. Then it takes days to get through on the phone to Unemployment and Social Services and even hours on hold to reach DMV for car questions. Also I was informed that the Homestead Rebate Program where homeowners get a small refund of property taxes is 3 years behind – sending out check from 2013 ! Can’t the State hire anyone to Take their calls? I actually applied for Food Stamps being out of work with no income for 2 months before applying and I still have not been approved since Jan. 28th – today is MY 17th! Homekeepers Program which I qualified for years ago never had any money in Nj no matter when you applied to help get you out of foreclosure despite millions of Federal dollars given to the State to help homeowners. It just seems like our Governor does not care about us citizens unless we are wealthy. I wish Trump would distance himself from this bad public servant not give him anymore power!