Trenton – Senator Paul Sarlo, the chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on Governor Phil Murphy’s Fiscal Year 21 budget proposal:
“I welcome the Governor’s proposal fully aware of the severe economic challenges that confront us and sensitive to the tight timetable to get the work done. There is nothing normal about the circumstances and nothing easy about the task before us. This is the most difficult budget we have experienced in our lifetime. But, I am confident that we can come together on a spending plan that makes the most of limited resources and does the best to address the needs of New Jersey in a time of crisis.
“I was encouraged by the strength of our revenue collections for the 13-month period ending in July. We need to make sure that our revenue forecasts for the upcoming fiscal year are sound and that we put all available federal aid to good use. We have to meet the challenges created by the pandemic, but we need to do it responsibly and find achievable savings too.
“Any proposal to increase taxes or add to state debt will be scrutinized cautiously to ensure that we understand how the funds will be used, the impact on our economic recovery, the state’s ability to manage debt payments, and the multi-year consequences. While our immediate responsibility is the FY-21 budget, we have to remember that economic problems may persist and that one-year fiscal solutions may leave us short.
“I expect the full co-operation of the Administration, will rely on the expertise of OLS and the legislative staff, and will work with my legislative colleagues to schedule public hearings so we can get to work.”