Kenny: Public Comments Critical In Shaping Budget

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Bernard F. Kenny, Jr., Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, made the following statement today as the Committee held its first public hearing at Kean University on the proposed Fiscal Year 2008 State Budget:

“Even before going into today’s hearing, we all realized that this year’s lean budget would leave many programs and organizations wanting more.

“Everyone on the Budget Committee shares the goal of forming a budget that is fiscally responsible and relies on existing, recurring revenues. We can no longer afford to raise taxes or rely on one-shot budget gimmicks to get by from year to year.

“Though our budget this year will be tight, that does not mean that we cannot shape its funding priorities in the coming months.

“Today’s testimony provided us with some insight into the needs of a wide array of programs and services around the state and as we move forward in the budget process, public input will be critical in crafting a final budget.

“We appreciate the time taken by everyone who testified before the Committee today. The Committee recognizes that for many people, this is time taken away from work or other obligations and we thank everyone for being part of the process.”