TRENTON – State Senator and former New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, issued the following statement today regarding Governor Chris Christie’s proposed Fiscal Year 2011 budget, unveiled in a joint address to the Legislature today in the Assembly Chambers:
“I understand that New Jersey is facing some very tough times in the midst of a national recession. The Governor has to make some tough decisions to balance the budget – some cuts I agree with, and others I do not.
“In particular, cuts to higher education – particularly the 100% cut in aid to private colleges – will further the brain drain and damage our national reputation for new potential employers. Targeting the earned income tax credit for the working poor and doing away with property tax rebates for seniors on fixed incomes are especially unfair and will mean more out-of-pocket expenses for our most vulnerable during a difficult economic crisis.
“One thing I didn’t hear in the Governor’s speech was a recognition that a bulk of our State’s budgetary problems were caused by the recession that is impacting every other state in the nation. We need to take steps to make sure we weather this economic storm and can begin to grow our economy on the other side of it.
“In the months ahead, we need to all work together – Democrats and Republicans – and soften the blow of these cuts, for vital programs and hard-hit property taxpayers alike. But we also need to make a statement about the priorities of government in New Jersey, and of the people we represent.
“I look forward to tackling the problem head-on and fighting for the taxpayers who sent me to Trenton to represent their interests.”