The five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco and Senators Pennacchio, O’Toole, Oroho and Doherty, issued the following statement regarding the state of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget:
“Years of serial fiscal mismanagement have brought us to this point. Too many administrations have taxed, borrowed, spent and deferred until the citizens of this state could take no more.
Find Common Ground to Prevent Teacher Layoffs or Instructional Cuts
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco issued the following statements encouraging school boards and employees’ unions to enter into talks to dodge mass layoffs:
“In several New Jersey communities, teachers and parents are coming together to find a balanced approach to protect the quality of classroom education for our children,” Kean stated. “With shared sacrifice, we can find the innovative solutions to keep teachers in the classroom with the tools they need to provide a quality education.”
Senator Anthony Bucco, the Senate Republican Budget Officer, issued the following statement regarding Governor Christie signing three pension reform measures into law last night.
“It is significant that the governor chose three reform measures as the first bills he signed into law. These three measures have been five years in the making.
“The absolute necessity of reforming the pension system was brought to the front burner in December 2005 with the publication of the Murphy Report. The Murphy Report recommended many of the steps that were adopted yesterday.
Department of the Treasury Seems to Be Implementing State Auditor Recommendations
Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco issued the following comments regarding the release of an audit of the Senior Citizens’ and Veterans’ property tax deduction programs. The audit, conducted by the Office of the State Auditor, identified “weakness in the verification of eligibility” for the two property tax relief programs in question.
Senate Republican Budget Officer Anthony Bucco made the following statement today as David Rosen, the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, gave his mid-year update on the state budget to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Rosen’s report indicated that the budget deficit for the remaining six months of fiscal 2010 has grown to almost $2.2 billion:
The following are Senator Bucco’s opening remarks to the committee:
“We have been told that today’s hearing is being held so Dr. David Rosen, the Legislative Budget Officer, can provide us with information on the current status of the FY 2010 budget and to discuss the outlook for the upcoming FY 2011 budget. While I welcome a discussion, I don’t believe that a single person in this room is unaware that the FY 2010 budget has an imbalance of close to $2 billion and that the FY 2011 budget may have a deficit of almost $10 billion. So why are we really here today?
Senator Tony Bucco, Republican budget officer, said he was disappointed but not surprised by new Mayor Dana Redd’s decision to double the pay of some political appointees to her administration even as New Jersey faces the worst economic crisis in decades. Bucco noted that a new law approved by the Legislature on Jan. 11 greatly weakens the governor’s ability to oversee how hundreds of millions of dollars in state taxpayers’ money are being spent, leaving the governing of Camden open to the kinds of abuses for which it has become infamous. Bucco called on new legislation to restore oversight and require accountability of Camden officials.
“The new law crippled the governor’s ability to exercise oversight over the hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money pumped into Camden each year,” Bucco said. “In the Senate, Democrat legislators passed this law over unanimous Republican opposition even though nearly all money spent by the city of Camden comes from state aid, not local taxes.
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco and Senator Kevin O’Toole issued the following comments regarding the announcement by Senate President Steve Sweeney that pension and benefits reform would be a top priority.
“My colleagues and I are all-too-aware that the pensions and benefits systems are unsustainable at the current time,” Kean stated “This effort will build on the bipartisan cooperation on pension reform that was successful in the last legislative session. It is vital that we complete the process of identifying and implementing necessary reforms to ensure that rank and file employees’ retirement funds are safeguarded.”