Sarlo: Off-Budget Items Need To Be Reexamined

SARLO: OFF-BUDGET ITEMS NEED TO BE REEXAMINED

TRENTON – Senator Paul A. Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic and a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, made the following statement today following testimony by Acting State Treasurer David Rousseau to the Committee on the Governor’s FY2009 State Budget:

“We need to take a closer look at the $334 million the Governor has left off the budget and designated for a Long-Term Obligations and Capital Expenditure Fund. Given the recent news that expected tax revenues will be down almost $300 million next year, we need to seriously consider putting those funds back in the budget and using a portion to help make up for that shortfall.

“I have serious concerns that the current economic downturn might mean even greater shortfalls than expected. It would be prudent for us to look for areas of the budget where we could make further cuts to address these economic problems.

“At the same time, this Committee must consider the wisdom of cutting municipal aid to towns with under 10,000 residents when we just increased school aid by $500 million. It seems contradictory and self-defeating to take away aid from one area to just give more aid in another area. If restoring this aid means more cuts somewhere else, so be it.”