TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, and Chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the Senate’s approval today of a bill to amend the FY 2009 Budget to help offset a massive shortfall in revenues caused by the national recession. The bill, S-15, was approved by a vote of 21-17:
“The bill which was approved by the Senate today is only a piece of the puzzle in re-balancing the FY 2009 Budget and making up for lost revenues as a result of the national economic crisis. While this bill represents a strong first step in responsible budgeting, we must be open to further cuts in order to maintain the essential services that New Jersey’s taxpayers have come to rely on.
“Last week, the Governor proposed new cost savings measures which would re-balance the FY 2009 Budget, replenish the depleted UI (Unemployment Insurance) fund to avoid a tax increase on employers, and help fund a far-reaching economic stimulus package advanced by the Governor and the Legislature late last year. As difficult as these mid-year budget cuts may be, we must continue to pursue cost savings and be willing to make extremely difficult budget decisions to stabilize our economy and staunch some of the State’s fiscal hemorrhaging.
“I will continue to work with the Corzine Administration and legislators on both sides of the political aisle to identify realistic cuts in spending. We must maintain support for the essential services that New Jerseyans depend on, and we must begin to get New Jersey’s fiscal house back in order.” #