Posted by: Kempite | December 18, 2008

Beck to Corzine: Explain How You Will Address Revenue Drop and Pay for New Spending

Today, Senator Jennifer Beck and Republican senate minority leader Tom Kean, jr again called on Governor Corzine to publicly detail the steps he has taken to deal with a budget deficit of at least $600 million.

Despite the fact that the deficit is growing every day as revenue collections sputter, the Governor continues to sign new spending bills into law without saying what will be cut to pay for them. A $600 million planned budget surplus for the current year has already been impacted by a $1.2 billion revenue drop that has yet to be addressed.

In 2001, the last time revenues began dropping shortly after the budget was signed, Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco periodically released to the public a list of accounts he had frozen to protect against revenue losses. When he signed legislation that included new appropriations, DiFrancesco would simultaneously release a list of existing budget items that were frozen to accommodate the new spending. The public was kept informed of steps that were taken to address budget problems and provided the opportunity to comment and suggest alternatives.

“The Governor has failed to embrace Republican budget savings ideas or offer his own ideas to address a growing deficit and new spending, ” said Beck. “The Governor needs to immediately step up to the plate and explain what he is doing to avoid a fiscal train wreck.”

Legislative Republicans proposed more than $1 billion in budget savings in May and have continued to propose budget savings that more than offset any spending bills that have moved through the Legislature. Proposed Republican budget savings have included substantive pension reforms, kicking patronage hires out of the pension system altogether, scaling back an abused aid program at DCA and implementing reforms in response auditor reports showing the widespread abuse of State cars. Governor Corzine has been cavalier in his dismissal of those proposals and seems to think the public needs no answers as to how revenue drops and spending bills will be addressed.

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