Sunday, March 8, 2009


The Governor’s office and all 80 seats in the Assembly are up for grabs this November. This year’s budget, like all others must be balanced and signed into law by midnight, June 30th. This means if voters don’t like any spending cuts or tax hikes they could stew for about 4 months before getting the chance to take it out on those they feel are responsible.

Eliminating property tax rebates for all but seniors and the disabled, 12 unpaid furlough days for state workers, a public employee wage freeze, a 5% surcharge on taxes paid by Jersey residents with incomes of $250,000 a year and up, increased taxes on liquor, wine and cigarettes are proposals that could be included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Address that Governor Jon Corzine will deliver tomorrow (3/10/09) before a joint session of the State Legislature.

Fairleigh Dickinson University political science professor Peter Woolley says voting for a difficult or unpopular budget might not be as harmful to Assembly members as many might think, but proposing one could hurt Corzine. He explains, "The local candidates, I think have less to fear than the Governor who is sitting on top of the flag pole……The Governor generally doesn't have as much latitude to blame the budget on other people as the members of the Assembly do."

Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Lou Greenwald claims he’s not concerned, “The full Assembly is on the ballot every other year…….I know people like to think it’s driven by politics. It’s not and if it was I wouldn’t be here.”

No comments: