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Sweeney: Painful Budget Cuts Are Needed

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Stephen M. Sweeney today said he backed the spending cuts in Governor Corzine’s proposed budget as a proper response to public calls for reduced government spending.

“People want a scaled back State government and this (the Governor’s budget plan) is a good start,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland.

The Senate Democratic leader pledged to review every line item in the Governor’s spending plan and explore further elimination of wasteful spending while serving as a member of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee.

“I think the Governor deserves credit for making some extremely difficult decisions in order to bring the State’s fiscal house back in order,” Senator Sweeney said. “Now, it’s the Legislature’s turn.”

Senator Sweeney said he was convinced the Governor’s proposed cuts will help restore public confidence in government.

“When the Governor went around the State promoting his plan for reducing debt, the message from the public was that they wanted spending cuts,” Senator Sweeney said. “He’s delivering on those cuts.”

“People are hurting, trying to pay their taxes, educate their kids and save for college educations,” he said. “Too many people see ‘government’ as an obstacle because of its high levels of taxpayer spending. I applaud the Governor’s efforts for getting this process started full swing.”

The Senate budget review kicks off next month with a series of public hearings.