Sarlo Statement On The Governor’s FY 2009 Budget Proposal

TRENTON – Senator Paul A. Sarlo, Vice Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding Governor Corzine’s FY 2009 Budget Address, in which he outlined severe cuts in government to help wean the State off non-recurring revenues:

“I applaud the Governor for making the difficult cuts that the people of New Jersey are demanding from their elected leaders. We’re in a particularly tough budget year, and we need to stand on hard choices that realistically deal with the fiscal problems facing the Garden State.

“In addition, I think the message we got today from the Governor was that we have to address the operating expenses of government before we can begin tackling long-term State debt. I’ve always thought that we should deal with overspending over the next 3-5 years before we can turn to debt reduction. It’s a noble goal to reduce massive State debt, but we need to walk before we can run, and we need to fix our day-to-day operations before we can set our sights on debt obligations.

“Now, it’s the Legislature’s responsibility to take the Governor’s proposal and run with it, analyzing the Governor’s priorities and making suggestions on how New Jersey spends taxpayer funds.

“At the end of the day, while we may not pass the budget offered to us letter for letter, we will pass a budget that calls for the same total level of cuts in State spending. This budget will not be balanced on the backs of hard-hit taxpayers who for so many years, have faced mounting tax burdens in their home towns.”