Codey Statement On Proposed Fy 2009 Budget

TRENTON – Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) today released the following statement on Governor Corzine’s proposed FY 2009 state budget:

“This year’s budget is a crucial step in a serious effort to get our fiscal house in order. Clearly, cuts are essential and paramount to achieving that goal.

“Every single cut the governor has proposed will be looked over with a magnifying glass. Rest assured, the legislature will be proposing cuts of our own.

“We need to do a ‘cut-benefit’ analysis, so to speak, to weigh the pros and cons of eliminating certain services or programs. Key to this process will be finding cuts that don’t simply shift the burden elsewhere, but will actually have an impact in easing the tax burden.

“There’s no sugarcoating it, this is a tough budget. It’s tough on individuals, tough on families, and it’s tough on governments. From the state level on down to the local level, everyone will be forced to share the burden and tighten the purse strings. Our job is to make sure that these cuts are apportioned fairly and no one is unduly burdened

“For example, we need to determine if the cuts to charity care are worth it if more hospitals may collapse under the weight of having to provide mandatory care to the uninsured and underinsured. Similarly, we need to make sure the cuts to higher education don’t prevent more students from going to college or force others to absorb that cost for decades to come as they struggle to pay off higher student loans. If the benefit doesn’t outweigh the burden, then we may need to look elsewhere to counterbalance those proposals.

“The Governor should be commended for sticking to his guns and answering the people’s call for sizeable budget cuts. Without question, this is an extremely lean budget. Now it’s our responsibility to determine if it’s both lean and humane.”

# # #