Buono Named Chair Of Senate Budget And Appropriations Panel

TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, will be Chair of the powerful Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, Senate President Richard J. Codey announced today.

“Senator Buono has the leadership skills and the fiscal abilities needed for this difficult assignment,” said Senator Codey. “I also have confidence that she will be able to resolve any conflicts that may arise throughout the budget process.”

“I am grateful to Senator Codey for this expression of confidence,” said Senator Buono. “It will be a challenging budget year, but I believe we will move forward and work together in a bipartisan effort to deliver a fiscally sound and responsible spending plan for the coming year.”

Senator Buono said she also believes that Governor Corzine’s approach to explaining his debt reduction and fiscal restructuring proposal – with help from former Republican Congressman Bob Franks – will improve the likelihood that “workable solutions” will evolve to deal with the State’s current fiscal crisis.

“Jon Corzine is sending out the correct message that we have to put aside the rhetoric of politics because the necessity to work our way out of debt and stop runaway rates of rising property taxes is greater than the gains of partisanship,” she said. “We need answers that work for the people we are here to serve and we need to change from a game of political tactics to bipartisan problem solving. The Governor was right to start the process this week.”

The Budget and Appropriations panel will convene for several months after Governor Corzine unveils his spending plan on Feb. 26th for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Senator Buono will then lead her panel in reviewing the spending plan and making legislative revisions before submitting a final budget bill by the end of June.

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