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Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic, listens to testimony during the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee’s hearing on the Opportunity Scholarship Act.


TRENTONSenate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) issued the following statement on today’s testimony by Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff and by David Rosen, budget director for the Office of Legislative Services:


“As someone who is routinely critical of overinflated revenue estimates, it was good to have both the Treasury Department and OLS issue conservative forecasts for next year’s tax collections. It is interesting that Mr. Rosen’s projections are about $200 million higher for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 combined. OLS has generally been more accurate in its estimates.


“The good news is that revenues are up slightly over the original forecasts. The bad news is that New Jersey’s revenue collections lag so far behind the national average. As Mr. Rosen testified, the study by Pew Research showed that if New Jersey revenues had simply tracked the national average, we would have had $4.7 billion more in revenue – more than enough to make the pension payment required under the 2011 law, with more than $1.5 billion left over for other critical priorities. The treasurer acknowledged there would have been a lot more money if New Jersey had more economic growth.


“Today was Mr. Rosen’s last day appearing before the Senate budget committee as OLS budget director. I was joined by colleagues on both sides of the aisle in thanking him for his professionalism, his counsel and his expertise over his many years of service.  We wish him well in his retirement.”