Senate Panel Holds Hearing On NJ Budget
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. March 5, 2013
At the first of several hearings on Governor Christie’s state budget proposal, New Jersey lawmakers heard pleas from several groups for additional state aid.
East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov is president of the New Jersey League of Municipalities. She’s urging the state to restore millions of dollars in energy tax money to local governments.
“The time has come to do that and to end the state’s reliance on using our money to plug holes in the state budget.”
John Indyke is vice president of the Health Care Association of New Jersey. He says the budget should increase reimbursements for nursing homes that spend more to provide quality care for sicker patients.
“The current policy does not live up to current policy of focusing more of the already inadequate reimbursement dollars on increased spending for direct patient care.”
Phil Lubitz with the National Association of Mental Illness says New Jersey’s mental health services continue to be underfunded.
“We really should temper some of the excitement we have about increased access to insurance for mental health coverage with know that our mental health system is nowhere near prepared to take on additional services.”
Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo says what people tell lawmakers at the hearings can make a difference.
“Their testimony weighs on all of our minds. Changes have made over the years based upon testimony that have been received at public hearings.”