Rice: Proposed Deep Cuts Cause Deep Concerns

Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, speaks on the Senate floor in honor of retiring Senator Nicholas Asselta, R-Cumberland and Cape May.

TRENTON ? Senator Ronald L. Rice released the following statement today regarding the Governor?s proposed State budget that could result in deep cuts to most State departments and layoffs to thousands of State workers.

?I am deeply concerned with the part of the Governor?s proposal that suggests we lay off 5,000 State workers. There are only so many cuts that we can ask of the public before the impact becomes too much to bear for the low and middle-class residents, the indigent, our seniors and the disabled citizens of New Jersey. These employment cuts would most likely affect the lower-waged working families.

?We need to slow down this budget process and do a true cost benefit analysis so that we can fully understand the impact that these proposed layoffs would have on the long-term ?State of the State.? What seems like saving through cuts by laying off workers may actually be detrimental to our State?s future.

?What will the true impact be when the laid off employees can no longer afford to pay their mortgages, or health care coverage? What will the cost really be when the former employees join the welfare and food stamp lines?

?I have real concerns about this proposed budget. I will not be able to vote for it until I also know what the impact will be on urban hospitals. Most years we try to increase Medicaid and Charity Care reimbursements, but the Governor is now looking at cuts to these crucial life lines.

?The Democratic party has always been a champion for the poor and middle class, but, by approving a budget with cuts like this, we will hurt the poorest citizens of New Jersey.? ###