Rice Reaction To Governor’s Budget Address

Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, testifies during the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing regarding the Opportunity Scholarship Act.

Says he has concerns, will meet with Legislative Black Caucus

TRENTON – Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, the Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus and a 26-year veteran of gubernatorial budget messages, issued the following statement today in response to Governor Christie’s budget address to the Legislature:

“I’ve been in Trenton a long time, and I know that most of the time, budget messages are about pain, not gain. There’s limited resources and limitless funding priorities, and the final mark of a budget is how well the Governor and the Legislature meet the State’s funding needs with the resources at hand.

“While every budget process requires a little bit of give and take, we’ve seen under this Governor that there’s sometimes little room for compromise. I would hope that, during this budget season, our Governor listens a little more to the co-equal public servants in the State Legislature, and that we can find middle ground on some of the areas that matter most to people in New Jersey.

“I have serious concerns, particularly about the distribution of school funding dollars and the cuts to the transitional aid program – moves that will ensure higher property taxes in urban communities, and municipalities that are struggling to hold the line on rising property taxes. I plan to meet with the Legislative Black Caucus in the weeks ahead at our annual retreat, so we can formulate alternatives to the Governor’s spending initiatives which we think are fair and equitable to all of New Jersey – not just Black New Jersey.”