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NJ Senate Fails to Override Women’s Clinics Funding Veto

The New Jersey Senate failed today to override Governor Chris Christie’s July 24 veto of a bill that would have allocated over $7 million to New Jersey’s family planning clinics. According to the Star-Ledger the state Senate voted 23 to 17 to override the governor’s veto, but did not achieve the two-thirds majority necessary to pass the measure. The bill, which restored the funding after Christie removed it from the proposed state budget, originally passed 30 to 10 in the Senate on June 28 and 42 to 22 in the General Assembly on June 29, according to the Star-Ledger. Seven Republicans who had originally voted to pass the bill ultimately aligned with the Republican governor and voted against the override. Christie’s veto prevents $7.5 million from reaching the state’s 58 family planning clinics. The Star-Ledger reports that only three of these clinics offer on-site abortion services. Twenty-nine of the clinics are run by Planned Parenthood. The centers offer a number of women’s health services including cancer and sexually transmitted disease screenings, preventative services like birth control, and pre-pregnancy and prenatal care. Though Christie has cited reducing the state deficit as the reason for the veto, the Star-Ledger indicates that New Jersey Democrats allege that Christie vetoed the bill for ideological reasons, despite the fact that the bill prohibits the money from being used for abortion services. Democratic Assemblywoman Patricia Lampitt, said in an Assembly Democrats press release that “Governor Christie’s veto is especially puzzling and shortsighted from a fiscal standpoint…This funding would bring in $9 [in federal funding] for each $1 New Jersey spends on women’s health care. From a numbers standpoint, women’s health care funding is a no-brainer.”

Sources:

Star-Ledger 9/20/10, 8/26/10, 6/29/10; New Jersey Assembly Democrats Press Release 9/15/10