New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Blasts Borrowing Bill as Premature, Excessive, Unconstitutional

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Measure Will Saddle Taxpayers with Tens of Billions of Dollars in Fees and Interest for the Next 35 Years

Senator Anthony M. Bucco today implored the Legislature and the Governor “don’t mortgage our future in a state that is already overburdened in debt” moments before the Senate passed a bill authorizing almost $10 billion in debt with no voter approval.

‘Don’t mortgage our future in a state that is already overburdened in debt,’ Senator Bucco said before a vote authorizing almost $10 billion in debt. (Pixabay)

The bill (S-2697/A-4175) authorizes a borrowing scheme coveted by Governor Murphy to fill holes in the budget that Republicans said will cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars in fees and interest they will be paying back for almost four decades.

“Don’t take the easy way out,” Bucco told the Senate. “This is not a plan, it’s the easy way out. We’re not waiting to address this problem in a logical fashion, taking now-outdated projections based on difficult times and using that to justify massive borrowing to repair the budget. This will place the state in even worse condition for years to come.”

Bucco called the borrowing premature, excessive and violates the state constitution “that is not above any of our pay grades and all of us took an oath to uphold.”

“No one would argue the 2021 budget isn’t going to be a challenge,” Senator Bucco said. “The State has enacted changes that balance the budget until September 30, and the Governor’s own treasurer tells us there will be a surplus of close to a billion dollars at its close. The Governor is not scheduled to propose his revised budget until August 25.

“$9.9 billion is not what we need to make us whole. It represents the Governor’s wants so he can continue to spend at the level he proposed back in February when the economy was booming,” Bucco continued. “The Governor has not expressed the extent of the hole in the 2021 budget that needs to be filled.”

Bucco also addressed Murphy’s criticism of those opposed to the debt plan for whining about it.

“When you live in one of the most expensive states to live in, don’t mistake residents gasping for breath to survive as whining,” said Bucco.

The Senator also outlined five options proposed by Republicans that would provide significant savings and reduce the state’s dependency on borrowing but have been ignored by the Governor.

This list included bipartisan furlough legislation passed by both houses two months ago that would have saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“We lost a tremendous opportunity by not having that legislation signed and we left far too much revenue on the table,” said Bucco.

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