Typical New Jersey. A popular beach is closed for most of July because state employees are on unpaid furlough. The employees will be paid to work during the winter months when this beach is empty.
Malibu Beach is just off the road between Somers Point and Longport, New Jersey by Garden State Parkway Exit 31. It faces the ocean between Longport and Ocean City. There are no lifeguards and few restrictions. Many people bring their dogs, which is why it is often called “Dog Beach”. It is very popular and crowded during the summer. It is empty during the winter.
Governor Murphy just closed Malibu Beach for most of July. That is because Malibu Beach is near a new “Wildwood Management Area” (once the site of the old “Dunes Til Dawn” nightclub during the 1950’s and 1960’s). State employees patrol the beach to keep visitors away from nearby bird nesting areas.
Malibu Beach, commonly called “Dog Beach” faces the Atlantic Ocean between Ocean City and Longport, New Jersey.
Murphy closed the beach for July because those employees are now on unpaid “furlough”. Those same employees will instead be assigned to patrol the beach full time in the winter when Malibu Beach is empty. Why?
The answer is complicated, but important.
Last March, Gov. Murphy made it clear that while he would crush “non-essential” private business owners and employees with coronavirus lockdowns, all government employees in the radical left CWA and NJEA public employee unions would be paid in full. They would get their full pay, benefits, yearly raises, and pension credits even if they did not have to work!
Gov. Murphy also said from the beginning that if NJ did not get a $9 billion bailout from the Federal government, he would have NJ taxpayers borrow $9 billion. Then, we would have higher taxes to pay the money back for the next 35 years.
However, Murphy quickly learned that our State Constitution does not permit this. It requires a balanced budget. The state cannot create “debts or r liabilities” unless a majority of voters approve it on a State Ballot Question. There is one loophole. The state does not need voter approval when borrowing is needed “to meet an emergency caused by disaster or Act of God”.
At first, Murphy tried to claim right away that he did not need voter approval because the coronavirus caused this budget ”emergency” However, this was not the case. Murphy could easily avoid an emergency by cutting government employee salaries to match the loss of tax collections caused by his shutdowns.
That is when Murphy came up with his six month plan to create a fake emergency in September.
Murphy’s first step was to get the Legislature to break New Jersey’s traditional Budget Year into two parts. For more than a hundred years, New Jersey had a budget year that began on July 1 and ended 12 months later on June 30 of the following year. If the State wanted to spend more than in collected during those 12 months, it had to get voter approval by putting a Public Question on the ballot in November.
Last April, the Legislature ignored our State Constitution again. It created one special budget “year” for this July, August, and September. It then created a second nine month budget “year” from October 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
This allows Murphy to create a fake financial “emergency” in October. If we didn’t change the budget year, the State would have 12 full months to balance the budget with spending cuts and takes hikes. These are both things Governor Murphy doesn’t want to do before an election.
The fake three month budget “year” lets Murphy do with the whole State Budget, what past Republican and Democratic Governors did with the Parkway, Turnpike, and Expressway Authority. For years, they borrowed so much money before each election, that almost all of the gas tax and tolls collected were needed to pay back the debt. There was no money left to fix roads and bridges! billions of dollars before the elections. That created an “emergency” that allowed the State to borrow billions more, and pay it back with “automatic” gas tax and toll hikes almost every year. That is why have now have some of the highest gas taxes and tolls in America, yet still have dangerous and shabby roads and bridges.
Murphy set up his fake October emergency by making a special sweetheart deal with the 40,000 state employees represented by the CWA (Communication Workers of America). Under that deal, most of them are taking 10 unpaid “furlough” days this month, July 2020. Why this month? So they qualify for enhanced federal “stimulus” unemployment. In return, the State promises that not a single state employee will be laid off for the next 17 months.
Murphy also “deferred” a billion dollar pension payment from September to October. By doing this, Murphy “balanced” this three month budget period, but put the next nine month period hopelessly into debt. Murphy can then claim he must quickly borrow $9 billion to “meet an emergency caused by disaster or Act of God”.
It is also worth mentioning that the CWA, like the NJEA Teacher’s Union, is a highly political union with a radical left wing agenda. Besides representing New Jersey State employees, the CWA also represents most employees at most “mainstream” newspapers and TV networks.
This is why the popular Malibu Beach, or “Dog Beach” is closed for the busy month of July. This is why state employees will be working full time to keep it open all winter long when hardly anyone will be using it.
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