New Jersey Senate Budget Committee: Show Us 'Honest' Cuts
In all, Corzine presented the Legislature last month with $2.5 billion in cuts and curbs on annual spending increases.Restraining the growth in spending is not a budget cut - it’s spending more, although perhaps not as much as some may have preferred. Eliminating the funding for “one-time” expenses and then spending the “savings” on new programs is not a budget cut.
"It's clear that this budget is more than $2 billion higher than last year," the Republican leader [Leonard Lance] said. "When the governor talked about $2 billion in cuts, what he really meant was he wouldn't increase the budget by $4 billion."
This fact is being pointed out by Sen. Stephen Sweeney (D- West Deptford), a member of the Senate Budget Committee.
"I'm going to give him [Corzine] the opportunity to show us what he's cut," Sweeney said. "But it has to be an honest cut."Sweeney questioned Corzine proposed $10 million cut from the state's snow removal fund for next year, pointing out that New Jersey often runs through its snow removal budget, requiring the Legislature to appropriate the additional funds required. Corzine is also banking on shifting $330 million in costs from the state to the federal government and hopes for an additional $117 million increase in federal funding for human service programs to offset a drop in state funding.