TRENTON – Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo today opened the panel’s first hearing of the new legislative session with a call to all members to work together to close the state’s looming multi-billion-dollar budget gap “through work, not drama.”
Following a presentation from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, the Senator noted that the state’s current fiscal year shortfall of $2 billion is less than half of the $4.3 billion mid-year gap that was closed last year. He also noted that the anticipated $8 billion deficit needing to be closed before the start of the 2011 Fiscal Year mirrors the amount needed to be cut last year, as well.
Sarlo, D-Bergen, released the following statement:
“We need to go about solving the current budget problem in a business-like and professional manner, not with the histrionics and public hand-wringing of past years.
“Last year, we stared down bigger deficits without a lot of drama.
“This committee needs to once again put theatrics aside and simply go about its business of righting New Jersey’s fiscal ship.
“Hyperbole, doomsday predictions and staged hysteria may make for snappy headlines and pull quotes, but they will not close these deficits. Only bipartisanship and hard work will.