NJ Legislature Passes State Budget
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. June 24, 2013
It’s now up to Governor Christie to sign New Jersey’s new $32.9 billion budget.
The Assembly voted 52-to-25 to pass it.
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick says bipartisan cooperation to get the budget enacted is significant.
“This is what the public expects from its leaders in Trenton and today New Jersey has delivered a message we’re working together with Governor Christie the way the public expects this body to work.”
After an hour long debate the Senate passed the budget bill by a vote of 29-to-11.
Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg was one of ten Senate Democrats to vote against it.
“This budget has not taken into account women’s health. There is no real property tax relief. There is no income tax credit in here for the working poor”
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean defends the negotiated budget.
“The Democrats have tried to throw a lot of accusations at the wall regarding this budget. The fact that they then changed less than one percent of the overall budget number from the governor’s introduction really shows that the governor has got the right priorities.”
Budget committee chairman Paul Sarlo says Democrats did not want to risk inserting more items in the budget only to have the governor line-item veto them.
“The budget is based upon some overly optimistic revenues. However, we all hope that we achieve those revenues. That means the state is headed in the right direction.”
Sarlo is concerned whether the state will get all the revenue the administration expects from affordable housing trust funds and taxes from Internet gambling.
“The Treasurer made it clear these are the numbers he’s going to certify. So I would hope that we’re not going to be visiting this six months from now, but there’s the housing money, there’s the Internet gaming, and a few other items that need to come to fruition.”