BUONO: DEBT REDUCTION THE WAY TO GO WITH WINDFALL REVENUES
TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex and Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, made the following statement today after hearing testimony from State Treasurer David Rousseau with regards to revised revenue estimates for the FY08 and FY09 budgets:
“Today was a day of mixed blessings when it comes to the State’s financial forecast. The additional $533 million the State expects to bring in for the current fiscal year are a welcome windfall, but we mustn’t see these additional funds as a blank check to increase spending.
“I agree with the Governor that these additional revenues should be used to pay down the State debt. It is a financially prudent plan that recognizes that the State must be proactive in reducing our debt, even during lean times. Additionally, it will reduce our debt service this year and into the future, freeing up funds for essential programs like charity care and municipal and school aid.
“At the same time, we’re facing an additional shortfall of $159 million for the FY09 budget. This committee will work hard over the next few weeks to find additional cuts to make up for that shortfall that are fair and spread the impact as widely as possible.”