NJEA’s Director of Government Relations, Ginger Gold Schnitzer, spoke on behalf of NJEA at a press conference today. She joined dozens of legislators, labor leaders, community organizers and others in opposing a scheme by Chris Christie and Steve Sweeney to shut down the state government. Her remarks are below.

Hello. I’m Ginger Gold Schnitzer, speaking on behalf of the 200,000 members of NJEA.

We all know to expect some nonsense at this time of year. After all, this is “June in Trenton.”

But we are here today because a small handful of people are threatening to turn that into “July in Trenton.” And that’s a whole lot more serious.

Now, Gov. Christie wants to do something pretty awful to Horizon policyholders. There’s no debating that. But we’ve learned over the last few weeks that Horizon is capable of sticking up for itself.

What’s really disgusting is who else he is willing to hurt to get his way.

That’s why I’m here today. I’m here to speak for the students in our public schools. Because after 8 years of shortchanging them, Gov. Christie is now threatening them with his veto pen — again!. He’s saying that if he doesn’t get to hurt Horizon, he’ll settle for hurting kids instead. It’s awful, but it’s not surprising.

What is surprising is how many legislators seem ready to give in to America’s least popular governor.

We are here today to remind those legislators who they are elected to represent. Here’s a hint: it’s not a future radio sport show host.

It’s time for legislators to stand up and do their job. Take a clean vote on the budget. Don’t tie it to any dirty deal. And stand up to the governor when he threatens children and their families in order to get a cheap political win.

Legislators, don’t give Gov. Christie the chaos he craves. Don’t give him July in Trenton.

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