TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, and Chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the Governor Corzine’s announced proposal to re-balance the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget in light of underperforming revenues caused by the national recession:
“When we crafted the FY 2009 Budget last June, no one could have predicted the extent of the current economic meltdown. The national recession has sent unemployment rates soaring, crippled the nation’s credit industry, and significantly reduced state revenues around the country at a time when taxpayers are relying on State-administered support programs more and more.
“I commend Governor Corzine and his staff for working around the clock to maintain a balanced budget in this unprecedented economic crisis. Facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit in the current Fiscal Year 2009 and at least a $6 billion gap in the coming year, the Governor has proposed cutting State government to the very bone in order to stabilize our financial condition and move New Jersey through the rough water of recession.
“I will work with my colleagues on the Senate Budget Committee to review the Governor’s list of cuts, and provide input on the tough decisions that lay ahead. One thing is certain – the next few months will not be easy. But hopefully, prudent budget decisions, in concert with State actions to spur economic growth and an aggressive federal stimulus package, will put New Jersey on the right fiscal track and help us avoid interruptions in the State services New Jerseyans have come to depend on, especially in this time of greatest need.”