TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer and Senate President Pro Tempore, issued the following statement today as the Legislature passed the Fiscal Year 2006 Budget:
“Throughout the budget process, the one thing that has remained the same is that those areas the Senate and Assembly agreed upon outnumber those areas in which we disagreed. That fact made the budget we passed today as strong as it could be.
This was a budget based upon four core beliefs: provide considerable property tax relief to seniors and middle class families, creation of recurring revenue sources, limited use of one-shot revenue raisers and providing aid to schools, communities and New Jersey’s neediest residents. We have succeeded on all counts while reducing the amount of spending compared to last year.
“Under this budget we are able to provide every homeowner or tenant who got a property tax rebate last year with a rebate again this year. We were also able to ensure that again senior citizens see a $1,200 rebate.
“We were also able to provide additional school aid to those districts who needed it the most – ring districts and high growth districts. Just because a child lives in a distict that looks like an Abbott district or is experiencing a population boom, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the best education we can provide.
“I congratulate all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both houses on the hard work and great consideration they have given to the budget process this year.”