New Jersey’s Democratic-controlled Legislature has approved a $29.4 billion budget, sending back to the Republican governor a spending plan that cuts hundreds of millions of dollars in public school aid, suspends property tax rebates and adds levies on businesses, students, the elderly and the disabled.
The budget, approved by the Assembly early Tuesday morning and by the Senate hours earlier, is close to the one Gov. Chris Christie introduced in March amid some blunt talk about the state’s bleak finances. He said New Jersey was facing an $11 billion deficit and needed to cure its addiction to spending.
Democrats got just $74 million in programs and services restored to the budget out of roughly $400 million sought. They insisted that Republicans sponsor the budget bills, so the GOP would own the bare-bones budget...
Even Republicans said they didn’t like parts of the budget, which cuts spending by 9 percent over last year. But, Republican Sen. Joe Pennacchio commended Christie for charting a more responsible fiscal course for the future while Democratic Majority Leader Barbara Buono said the budget contains wrong-headed choices.
The budget skips a $3 billion contribution to the state pension system, for example, and saves $848 million over last year by suspending property tax rebates.
Democrats enacted a one-year surcharge on millionaires, but Christie vetoed the tax and the Legislature failed to override it. The $600 million or so the tax would have raised was to restore rebates for senior citizens and disabled homeowners.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Wait and See
The New Jersey legislature has just passed a budget for Gov. Chris Christie (R) to sign:
Posted by Fred Bauer at 6:32 AM