Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco made the following statement today as David Rosen, the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, gave his mid-year update on the state budget to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Rosen’s report indicated that the budget deficit for the remaining six months of fiscal 2010 has grown to almost $2.2 billion:
The following are Senator Bucco’s opening remarks to the committee:
“We have been told that today’s hearing is being held so Dr. David Rosen, the Legislative Budget Officer, can provide us with information on the current status of the FY 2010 budget and to discuss the outlook for the upcoming FY 2011 budget. While I welcome a discussion, I don’t believe that a single person in this room is unaware that the FY 2010 budget has an imbalance of close to $2 billion and that the FY 2011 budget may have a deficit of almost $10 billion. So why are we really here today?
“I hope that we are here today to discuss the financial crisis that has become a stain on the very fabric of the State’s economy. I hope that we are here today to discuss the impact of this crisis on every single man, woman, and child in New Jersey. Finally, I hope we are hear today, not just to listen to Dr. Rosen’s estimate of the current size of the crisis, but to finally admit that there is a crisis, and to begin to reverse the policies responsible for New Jersey’s financial collapse.
“The time has come for us to reject the status quo, if New Jersey is to survive, the status quo is no longer an option.
“Changes have to be made and we must correct the mistakes that led us to this point and make sure that they are never repeated. The pain felt by our citizens is real and omnipresent. They expect us to reverse our course and end the borrowing, spending and taxing and replace it with accountability, responsibility and effective oversight.
“Change must be made the order of the day. We must all become agents for change. We must remove all obstacles to this change because change is the only way out of this crisis. If we do not alter the mistakes of the past and move away from the status quo, our children and their children will all reap the consequences of our failure.”