TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, the Chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today released the following statement regarding Governor Corzine’s State of the State Address:
“Today’s message of optimism will begin to instill a sense of confidence in New Jerseyans reeling from the continued economic fallout. It is important that Governor Corzine outline a coherent, well-thought out strategy to manage State finances going forward. We know New Jersey is in a much better position as a result of slashing spending by $600 million in the budget we passed last June. Last May we turned the corner on previous budget practices by stashing instead of spending, $650 million of unanticipated revenue in a long-term debt relief fund, which we can now draw from to help fill the current budget shortfall. We also refused to follow past practices of projecting unrealistic, overly optimistic revenue by conservatively forecasting lower revenues than the previous year.
“In FY 2010, we face the difficult prospect of slashing State spending at a time when State services are more in demand. In this new year, and in these tough economic times, it is important that we have a plan that residents can rest assured will help get the State of New Jersey to the other side of this financial crisis.
“New Jersey should serve as a model for the rest of the Nation by the way we have stepped up to provide real relief to residents in a number of areas ranging from job creation programs and expediting infrastructure projects, to school aid and safety net assistance to our most vulnerable.
“The Governor also noted that we must put aside partisanship and fight together for the well-being of the people of New Jersey. People have grown weary of partisan bickering on the National level. They want to know that we have solutions to deal seriously with the turmoil. Today’s speech sends a clear message that we must all join together in this fight to help revive our economy and make living in New Jersey more affordable for the residents of the Garden State.