Buono: Grim Budget Plan For Nj’s Fiscal Realities

TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono, Chair of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, today made the following comments as details were being released about the proposed agreement on the State’s spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“It’s not a happy day when the realities of spending cuts result in pain for the beneficiaries of many worthy programs. But we can’t reduce the size of government without shutting down our voracious appetite to spend and borrow. The record-level restraints in this (budget) proposal were needed to move us in the right direction.

“New Jersey families are searching for solutions to multiple crises at once – soaring fuel prices, the mortgage lending debacle, a crushing debt load and ever-rising health care costs. It would be the height of insensitivity to pile on now with higher spending and runaway borrowing. I am proud of the work by members of the Senate budget committee who made their imprint on this proposal which cuts another $100 million in spending from the Governor’s budget offering which already was down $500 million from last year. In the process, we shifted money to keep the heart in government, restore municipal aid and help keep parks open. Hard work still lies ahead to reform the public pension and benefits system to make it sustainable over time.”