Shortfall Could Reach $1 Billion This Budget Year
Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco today called on Senate Budget and Appropriations Chair Barbara Buono to reconvene the committee immediately to confront New Jersey’s declining revenue collections.
“It is imperative that the budget committees of both houses reconvene immediately in order to implement budget savings to cover this historic plunge in state revenues. At the current rate of decline, 3.1 percent, the shortfall this year could reach $1 billion.
Former Parole Board Member Pitches Cost Cutting Measures
Senator Anthony Bucco, the Senate Republican Budget Officer, issued the following statement regarding a proposal by a member of the State Parole Board that would save the agency millions of dollars.
“Governor Corzine has repeatedly promised the taxpayers of this state that he had ‘scrubbed’ the budget. Sadly, it seems that many agencies, including the State Parole Board, were ignored or overlooked throughout that process.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean on Governor Corzine’s announcement that he will move money around the budget to fill an immediate $205 million deficit and find $200 million more in case tax collections continue to plunge. The state treasurer said today that revenues have come in 3.1 percent below projections so far this year. If collections continue at that pace, the state will have a $1 billion deficit this year. The estimated budget deficit for next year is $8 billion to $10 billion.
“The governor has announced he’s planning to adjust the budget by $405 million when it’s clear that we could have a $1 billion problem in this year alone,” Senator Kean said. “The governor’s poor fiscal management could lead to an additional billion dollar deficit that could result in losses in state aid and dramatic increases in local property taxes. The governor has already committed to a $500 million cut in school aid for next year. These ominous revenue projections suggest a bleaker future for New Jersey property taxpayers under Jon Corzine.”
Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, said that given the news that New York state faces a growing fiscal crisis, it is alarming that Governor Jon Corzine stubbornly refuses to regularly update revenue collection numbers for New Jersey, as other governors have done in the past. New York’s governor plans to cut $3 billion in spending immediately and $2 billion next year because of collapsing revenues.
In contrast, Corzine has refused to talk about the budget or current revenue. Before the Corzine administration took over, revenue figures were released regularly in September and October. Yet the governor has ignored repeated requests to release numbers this fall. Without the numbers, state residents have no idea whether New Jersey has a similar budget crisis, Oroho said.
Administration Has Not Released Revenue Collection Records
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean issued the following comments regarding the failure of the Corzine Administration to release first quarter revenue figures. Kean called on the Corzine Administration to immediately release revenue figures so that a future governor isn’t forced to scramble to make unreasonable cuts in vital services in the future.
This week, New York Governor David Paterson announced plans to eliminate $3 billion in spending from his state’s budget because of declining revenue numbers. Most economists anticipate New Jersey’s revenue collection will track New York’s, because of our shared regional economy. Two years ago, Senator Kean called on Governor Corzine to begin to initiate budget savings due to clear signs that a recession was approaching.
State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) announced today that he was recognized as a “Taxpayer Champion” by the New Jersey Taxpayers Alliance.
The New Jersey Taxpayers Alliance, who conducted their first rating of the state’s legislators, tracked votes for ten bills that were vital to New Jersey’s taxpayer communities. They gave Senator Joe Pennacchio a perfect score.
Senate Budget Committee member Steve Oroho, R-Sussex and Hunterdon, said it’s disgraceful that the Corzine administration approved a grant of $12 million today under the so-called Special Municipal Aid program without producing the performance audits required by law.
“The Corzine administration can’t justify sloppy oversight and secret spending of taxpayer money when we are in economic crisis,” Oroho said. “Struggling taxpayers should be outraged that the governor isn’t providing absolute assurance that every dime of their money is being spent wisely.”
Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, expressed dismay that Governor Corzine is trying to champion his stewardship of the economy even as the unemployment rate hit nearly 10 percent, the highest rate since April 1977. The governor has urged the members of his cabinet to get “creative” and “stretch” to invent events to bolster his miserable record on job creation.
Senator Joe Kyrillos, senior Republican on the Economic Growth Committee, said the following after learning that New Jersey’s unemployment rate has climbed to 9.8 percent, the highest level in nearly 33 years. The rate is the highest since April 1977, and remains far higher than the unemployment figures of Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The state lost 12,000 jobs in the private sector and 700 government positions in September, the New Jersey Department of Labor reported.
“No neighboring state is suffering as much in this recession as New Jersey,” Kyrillos said. “There are no excuses that Governor Corzine can give that will make New Jersey feel better about the suffering of so many of our friends and neighbors.
Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose and Assemblyman Gary Chiusano, R-Sussex, Morris, Hunterdon, announced today they were recognized as “Taxpayer Champions” by the New Jersey Taxpayers Alliance.
“Standing up for taxpayers in New Jersey is job number one for Alison, Gary, and me,” said Oroho, who serves on the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “We are continuing our mission to make New Jersey more competitive to bring in new businesses and private sector jobs and it starts with making sure our tax policies are attractive.”