TRENTON – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, issued the following comments today regarding Acting Governor Richard J. Codey’s budget proposal to the Legislature for Fiscal Year 2006:
“Despite the difficult fiscal situation we’re in, it’s good to see Acting Governor Codey has not forgotten the priorities of good government and compassion that have defined his short term in office.
“Governor Codey insisted that this budget would not be balanced on the backs of the most vulnerable in New Jersey. Considering that he has consistently shown to be among one of the staunchest proponents of increased compassion for the mentally ill and the working poor, I would have expected no less.
“One particular point which I think needs to be applauded is the increased investment in ethics reform and watchdog agencies to produce better government. Governor Codey has proposed increasing funding for the SCI (State Commission of Investigation), and ELEC (Election Law Enforcement Commission), while proposing substantial investments in establishing the Office of the Inspector General to root out waste and the Office of the Public Advocate, to give the voiceless a voice in State Government.
“Combined, these increases equal a small portion of the State budget, but will have a large impact in restoring the public’s faith in their servants in Trenton and putting New Jersey back on the right track towards ethical government. I commend Governor Codey on his efforts thus far, and look forward to working with him to reach that goal.”