TRENTON – Senator Paul Sarlo, a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee, today said the Legislature should seek “millions of dollars in additional cuts” before agreeing to raises taxes as a last resort.
“We have to find the collective will to make more painful cuts,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “Governor Corzine has done a commendable job in making government more efficient, but we in the Legislature now have to go even further.”
Senator Joseph Coniglio, a fellow member of the Senate budget panel, agreed with Sen. Sarlo.
“We have to make sure we keep looking to eliminate every dollar of wasteful spending,” said Senator Coniglio, D-Bergen.
The two senators joined their chairman, Senator Wayne R. Bryant, in calling for more budget cuts as a condition for considering any new revenue raisers.
“In the coming weeks leading up to our deadline for voting on a budget, we have to show a willingness to endure painful reductions in services,” Senator Sarlo said.
Senator Sarlo said he was pleased that the Corzine Administration agreed to the plan he sought to save a projected $12 million by having blind and disabled Medicaid recipients enrolled in managed care programs on a statewide basis.
The proposal, long advocated by Senator Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, was agreed upon by Kevin Ryan, the Human Services Commissioner, when he was asked for it by Senator Sarlo during a Senate budget hearing earlier this month.
“This movement toward finding maximum efficiencies in government operations is a joint effort by the Corzine Administration and the legislative Democrats,” Senator Sarlo said. “We have to continue making as many cuts as we can possibly endure before even considering support for raising the sales tax.”