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Whelan Statement On Governor’s Line-Item Veto

Says State’s Chief Executive Put Politics Ahead of People

TRENTON – State Senator Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, the Chairman of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, issued the following statement today regarding Governor Chris Christie’s line-item veto of a Democratic budget proposal which would have restored New Jersey’s priorities to the Governor’s proposed FY 2012 budget:

“I’m disappointed that the Governor couldn’t overcome his blatant political aspirations to even consider some of the many great proposals we put forward for the people of the Garden State.

“The Democrats’ proposal would have increased public safety funding by $50 million, ensuring safer streets and, in my district, more patrols in the newly created Atlantic City Tourism district.

“In our proposal, we would have expanded school aid across the board and finally realized the promise of the 2008 school funding reform act by fully funding all schools – urban, rural and suburban. Governor Christie slashed school aid in this budget, preferring instead to extend a tax break for millionaires over funding in the classroom.

“He eliminated funding we put in to preserve the health care safety net for the working poor, and to protect people living in nursing homes. He zeroed out funding for job-creating Urban Enterprise Zones, and he slashed Legal Aid services for individuals struggling to get by.

“This budget document may play for the Governor’s national political ambitions, and may go a long way to solidify his conservative bonafides among Republican primary voters in the next presidential election. But for the average New Jersey taxpayer, this budget stinks.”