TRENTON – Senate President Pro Tempore Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer, made the following statement today following the passage of the Fiscal Year 2009 State Budget:
“This budget is perhaps the most austere budget this legislature has passed in years. It is a budget that realizes the tight fiscal times facing the State of New Jersey, but still finds a way to provide crucial services and relief for all New Jersey residents.
“I am proud that we able to restore some of the proposed cuts to higher education funding, arts and State park support, and COMPTRA aid to municipalities. Additionally, we were able to provide another $11 million in aid to nursing homes around the state and were able to eliminate the need to put co-pays on Medicaid recipients.
“Perhaps I am most proud of the fact that we were able to restore all of these cuts while still reducing the size of this year’s budget by almost $600 million when compared to last year’s budget. While this budget certainly doesn’t have everything that we could have hoped for, it does provide us with a starting point that we can hopefully build on as our economy becomes stronger.”