MEDIA ADVISORY – Senate Budget Committee To Hold Hearings On Departments Of Community Affairs And Education On Monday

TRENTON – On Monday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee will hold hearings concerning the FY 2009 Budget and how it impacts the State Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Department of Education (DOE).

“Municipal and school aid account for a vast majority of the property tax relief paid out by State Government each year,” said Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, the Chair of the budget panel. “Even in the tough economic times we currently face in this State, we need to make the education of our children a priority, and ensure that the cost of local government isn’t unfairly passed off on local property taxpayers. Monday’s hearing will be a chance to scrutinize the State’s spending on some of our most sacred obligations, and seek greater efficiencies from government operations.”

Senator Buono noted that the DCA hearing will likely focus on cuts in municipal aid to municipalities with under 10,000 residents, while the DOE hearing will address the new school funding formula, sponsored by Senator Buono and signed into law earlier this year, which boosts State funding for middle-income districts, and provides for thorough and efficient education for all New Jersey students.

The Committee will hear from DCA Commissioner Joseph V. Doria and his staff at 9:30 A.M., and will hear from DOE Commissioner Lucille Davy and her staff at 2:00 PM. Both hearings will be held in Committee Room 4 of the Statehouse Annex.