TRENTON – Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen/Essex/Passaic), chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement the budget solutions presented by Governor Chris Christie:
“Last year, we worked together to close a budget hole twice this size through hard work, not speeches. Most importantly, we closed a $4 billion-plus mid-year budget deficit by not simply tossing the problem onto the back of New Jersey’s already overburdened property taxpayers.
“The Governor has at his disposal a $500 million surplus that could have been used to help close this gap without cutting school aid to middle-class New Jersey.
“I agree with the Senate Minority Leader’s campaign assessment of this gimmick: ‘The lack of state aid will translate into school property tax increases across most of New Jersey.’
“And I agree with the Assembly’s Republican Budget Officer, who two months ago said a mid-year school aid cut ‘is tantamount to punishing those who have planned and budgeted efficiently.’
“And I agree with Candidate Christie, who said ‘It’s time to make New Jersey an attractive place for students to receive a quality higher education,’ and that can’t happen if we cut our colleges off at the knees.
“Three weeks into his administration, all we know so far about the Governor’s budget priorities are that they consist of an income tax cut for millionaires and a property tax increase for everyone else.”