TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – The budget committee of the New Jersey Assembly is looking into the effect on recently imposed budget cuts on various constituencies. The latest round addressed the concerns of senior citizens.

Depending on whom you talk to, these hearings are either a necessary sounding board for those in need, or unnecessary and potentialyl dangerous political theatre.

“We’re not coming and saying give us more money,” responds Rev. Jerry Nugent, who runs Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, providing care to some 3,500 elderly people statewide.  “We’re saying please don’t make it impossible to do our job.”

Joe Bogdan runs a nursing home outside Trenton with 180 patients, and expects to lose $300,000 in state and federal aid.  What will be scaled back because of it?

“Every service, from food service to nursing care to rehabilitation services,” he says.  “You have to spread things out in somewhat equal fashion.”

…even though when Governor Chris Christie trimmed $30 million from nursing homes he suggested the cuts could be restricted to administrative costs.

Democrats on the committee hope Christie will have what one member called an “epiphany,” equating that to his recent restoration of most transitional aid to distressed cities (see related story).

At least one Republican suggested that facilities and groups truly in need might want to appeal to Christie directly for help.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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