Tag Archive: budget

Worried About the Budget? Corzine Wants to Hear From YOU

Jon Corzine’s office sent out an email today announcing a series of town hall meetings to talk to state residents about the gigantic clusterf#@k otherwise known as the state budget:

I promised you that I would change how our government conducts its business and that I would work to restore public integrity. A key component to achieving this is through financial responsibility and spending restraint. As Governor, it is my responsibility to propose a budget that is in the best interest of the people of this great state and one that puts New Jersey’s fiscal house in order.

In preparation for my budget proposal, I am hosting three regional community dialogues.  These events will be an opportunity to not only come and listen to various concerns about the multi-billion dollar budget crisis but to voice your thoughts on how we restructure New Jersey’s future.

There are three events, each at 6:00PM. RSVP by following their respective links:

  • North Jersey – Montclair State University (Mar 7)
  • Central Jersey – Monmouth University (Mar 8)
  • South Jersey – Rowan University (Mar 9)
  • $12.8 Billion to Finish Abbott School Projects

    Jeebus! I am not even going to try and figure out how we got here (people get paid for that kind of thing), but 12.8 billion bucks is a ton of money.

    However, before Repugnicans can go off and rant away at how this sounds impossible to reconcile, consider the NJ State factsheet from the 2006 Bush Budget:

    2006 Budget Good News for New Jersey’s Children

    The U.S. Department of Education’s FY 2006 budget provides $56 billion in Federal education funding – an increase of 33 percent since the President took office.

    Title I Program funding increases to $13.3 billion for students in high-poverty schools. This is a 52 percent increase over 2001 levels.

    Assuming Title I schools are the same schools affected by the Abbott ruling, NO PROBLEM.

    So long as Bushie boy and the Repugnicans come through with the money, we don’t have anything to worry about!

    Calling all Repugnicans in the Statehouse and Congress. Now is your time to shine!

    A Step in the Right Direction

    “All [we] had to do was look at the stacks of reports that government agencies constantly send to our district offices. These glossy reports are like a constant tidal wave of wasteful and needless spending…Before any legislator can even think about raising anyone’s taxes, we need to cut waste. The printing of these reports is a prime example.”

    Assemblymen Jeff Van Drew and Reed Gusciora want to eliminate what they call the “unfathomable” costs associated with reports from government agencies by requiring that agencies publish their reports online.

    “In this age of e-mail and Internet-based communications, these publications have outlived their usefulness,” said Van Drew (D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic). “The days of glossy paper, colored pictures, and fancy bindings are over: we simply can’t afford it.”

    Van Drew and Gusciora said many of the reports have color photographs and can cost more than $6 to mail. The two legislators said that the costs of these reports are so exorbitant that the Office of Legislative Services is unable to put a final cost on the amount of state funds being spent on annual reports and brochures.

    These reports are symbolic of inefficient government spending and this proposal is a common sense measure to cut costs. Beyond trimming costs, this measure should improve the efficiency and transparency of government by speeding up the flow of information and making it more easily accessible. Publishing reports online won’t balance the budget, but it’s a welcome step in the right direction.

    Tax cigarettes, not clothes

    Crossposted at Mulligan Stew.

    I was glad to hear that Corzine’s budget advisors advised against a clothing sales tax in New Jersey, according to the Star-Ledger. The lack of sales tax IMHO is one of the things that helps keep New Jersey viable for consumers and businesses, especially out-of-state consumers. I come from the perspective of someone who grew up in Westchester County and used to go shopping in Paramus several times per year because of the lack of sales tax. Not only do out-of-state shoppers buy clothing, they eat in restaurants, buy gas in New Jersey, and pay tolls on the Parkway and Turnpike.

    Budget Woes: Wait and See

    The Quinnipiac poll numbers from yesterday show that we’re worried about the budget: 54% see very serious problems in our budget, 38% see somewhat serious ones. In general, we’d rather see services cut than our taxes raised, 57% to 28%. And we absolutely don’t want a gas tax, even if it’s to fix up the roads: 69% oppose that (increased 12 points from the same time last year.)

    So, what are we gonna do about it?