Democrats Call Corzine’s Budget Irresponsible
Sweeney says Governor Corzine has failed to cut spending in his proposed $30.9 billion budget which increases spending by 9.2 over last year. He also questioned Corzine’s plan to exempt 400,000 to 600,000 New Jerseyans from paying state income taxes.
"All expansions of programs need to be stopped until we see what we can do," Sweeney said. Democrats control the Assembly 47-33 and hold a 22-18 edge in the Senate; a handful of defections in the Senate could doom his spending plan.Sweeney says he doesn’t believe Corzine has the votes to pass his budget proposal and “other Democrats, speaking privately, concurred”.
Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, said supporting Corzine's proposed $400 million plan to expand the sales tax to include limousine rides would be easier than raising the sales tax.
A Corzine spokesman called the criticisms wrong and said lawmakers who wish to criticize the budget need to propose realistic solutions.Corzine has not proposed significant cuts in spending or we would have heard about them by now and as Jim at Parkway Rest Stop pointed out, a 16.67% increase in the sales tax is not exactly what most people would refer to as ‘modest’. Republican lawmakers have come up with at least $1 billion in proposed spending cuts and now it looks as though the Democrats may join the effort. It’s about time.
Corzine "took no joy in proposing a budget with significant cuts in spending and proposing a modest sales tax increase," said spokesman Anthony Coley.
* Sweeney referred to Corzine's proposed increase for the state pension system as $1.8 billion. Actually, Corzine is proposing to increase the pension funding by $1.1 billion and not the $1.8 billion as he originally promised during the campaign. This is probably Sweeney’s source of confusion on this subject.