Prieto: ‘This has been About Respect’


Tugged into the GOP Gubernatorial Primary this evening, Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) slugged back at Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16), who criticized Prieto’s school funding plan.

“Jack Ciattarelli should worry about where he’s coming from instead of talking about something he doesn’t know anything about,” the speaker said. “There is a difference between ‘underfunded’ and ‘below adequacy’.  The Jersey City School System is $80 million below adequacy, which is far more than Manville.

“It appears he doesn’t quite get it,” Prieto added. “Adequacy should be the bar for everybody. Manville… is below adequacy.”

Locked in a gold dome caucus war within his own party, Prieto didn’t reveal any new plot lines in the stand-off between his and Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) school funding plans. They have a June 30th deadline to hammer out a plan included in the current budget scheme.

“I am willing to debate anyone on this subject, anywhere, anytime,” Prieto told InsiderNJ.

Although South Jersey wants to dethrone the Hudson County assemblyman from the speaker’s chair and replace him with Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-19), Prieto said he feels strong. “This is the way I look at it,” he said. “I think I have my caucus and I have the support of my caucus. This has been about respect. I have made the assembly relevant. I consult with my caucus, and I feel that we’ve done the people’s work in the assembly. I feel good, so stand by.”

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