Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Trenton Democrats’ budget theatrics:
“Months of public hearings by the Senate Budget Committee were set aside by the Democrats in favor of an early start to the election season. The Democrat’s budget which was ‘unconstitutionally unbalanced, ‘ was a political document challenging the Governor to cut programs that Democrats thought could be used to score political points in the upcoming legislative races.
“The Democrats could have chosen to work with their Republican counterparts on the budget committee to reach a fiscally responsible, balanced, compromise budget. They didn’t. They could have done so with the Governor. They didn’t. To unify their party after the historic pension and health care reform package the Democrats welcomed a partisan fight using the budget as a battle field to end the legislative session and kick start the campaign season.
“Thanks to the Governor’s leadership a constitutionally balanced budget has been achieved. Democrat political consternations have a hollow ring and were of their own doing.
“A close look at the line items that Democrats seem ‘concerned enough’ to override will find most at equal or greater funding than at last years levels. Case in point: SCR-223 the ‘Early Childhood Intervention Program grants’ will actually spend $8.5 million more in the Trenton Democrats budget than the same program spent last year.”