News Flash

Declan O'Scanlon

Posted on: September 5, 2023

GOP Budget Members: Legislators’ Budget Requests Have Been Whitewashed of Critical Information

money puzzle

On Friday afternoon, more than two months after the law required legislators' requests for budget funding to be released to the public, Democrats released requests that all have this disclaimer stamped at the top: "The Budget Bill includes this Resolution, either as submitted or in a modified form." It's not clear how original budget requests were sanitized, but they have almost all been modified to remove required explanations about how the money will be spent.

Senate Republicans released all of their original and unmodified budget resolutions more than two months ago - before the budget was adopted, as required by law. The Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee are once again calling on Democrats to release all budget resolutions with explanations about how the money will be spent, just as they were submitted - so it is clear to the public who really requested funding and their explanations of how it would be spent:

"This is outrageous, but typical and incredibly arrogant behavior by Democrats running Trenton," said Senator Declan O'Scanlon (R-13). "Republicans made our resolutions public, prior to passage of the budget as required by Senate rules. All of the resolutions that we advocated for clearly noted who advocated for it and the narratives outlining why the money was needed. Democrats, in typical fashion, waited until no one was paying attention and released this sanitized garbage on the eve of a major holiday weekend. The people of New Jersey deserve a truly transparent government and they're not getting that from Democrats in Trenton."

"Two months ago, Democrats passed a budget loaded up with pet pork in North Jersey, like another $24 million for an excessive and wasteful French arts museum in Jersey City and money for private pool improvements in Deal - one of the richest towns in the State," said Senator Michael Testa (R-1). "After much pressure, Democrats released some legislators' requests for taxpayer money, but they sanitized those requests of any explanation about how taxpayer funds will be spent. There is still no disclosure about who shoveled money into Deal and to dozens of other projects. Meanwhile, clearly articulated requests for flood protection, historic restoration, and other modest projects in South Jersey that weren't funded were not released by Democrats - apparently because Democrats hate South Jersey almost as much as transparency and don't want you to know. Change is sorely needed."

"Whether its's keeping parents uninformed about what is happening in schools or how your money is being spent, there is a common thread in Trenton - Democrats want you to be ill-informed. The press and public waited for two months to provide explanations about pork stuffed into the state budget at the last minute for pet projects, government administration buildings, and more wasteful spending," said Senator Doug Steinhardt (R-23). "Though the documents released Friday claim to bring transparency to the process, Democrats sanitized any explanations about how money will be spent. Meanwhile, requests for assistance that were denied for rural internet access, fire safety needs, and flood protection went ignored and were withheld. Democrats hoped you wouldn't notice they put wasteful pet projects ahead of the needs of New Jerseyans who require rural internet service and protection from fire and floods."

"Democrats released some legislators' requests known as 'budget resolutions' on the Friday before Labor day which they claim brings transparency for the $1 billion of pork added to the budget at the last minute," said Senator Steve Oroho (R-24). "What they released, however, was whitewashed of any explanation of how the money will be spent. Democrats in Trenton are showing that they fear real transparency and will go to great lengths to hide how they are really spending the past five years of tax increases that tag on billions of dollars to New Jerseyan's energy bills, wage withholdings, UBER rides, and even hospital stays."

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