Governor Jon Corzine made his Budget Address earlier this afternoon. As reported in most of our newspapers in the last few days, Corzine mentioned raising and expanding the sales tax, elimination of 1000 state jobs, cuts in over 70 state programs, restructuring of the child welfare system, and an increase in cigarette taxes. The governor also stated that “economic growth should be the engine to expand revenues, not taxes,” and announced some strategic investment concepts to increase economic growth, specifically for pharmecuticals and biotech industries.
The governor stressed that this budget contains “hard choices” and that those hoping for a magic solution from the former Wall Street CEO are out of luck- the budget solutions come down to “old-fashioned arithmetic. We can’t keep spending more then we take in.” The budget proposed today is only the beginning; the legislature will spend the next two months hammering out the final version.