"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Monday, April 30, 2007

Strangling New Jersey’s Taxpayers Day By Day

During state budget negotiations last June, Senator, John Adler (D-Cherry Hill), called for reducing New Jersey’s 154,000 workforce by 2,000 jobs to help close the budget gap. Governor Jon Corzine responded to Adler's proposal with, “It is curious that Mr. Adler decided to send this letter on the 98th day of budget negotiations, but we will throw it into the pile."

More than 300 days later, Corzine still hasn’t touched the pile of ideas to reduce state spending. New Jersey’s state budget has gone from $27.4 billion in 2006 to Corzine’s proposed $33.3 billion budget for 2008. That’s an 18 percent increase in state spending in just two years.

Earlier this year the governor said, “I didn’t run for public office to be a number cruncher, or to play scrooge”. Which is slightly different from the line he used when running for governor – “As a former businessman, Corzine has never seen a budget he couldn’t cut – and that experience will allow him to scrub the state budget, line-by-line.”

It’s been 809 days since we wrote:

Senator Corzine would have you believe his wealth puts him beyond the reach of special interest groups. But Jon Corzine can’t afford to alienate state workers if he hopes to become the next Governor of New Jersey. Corzine will buy the votes of government employees, not with his money, but with yours. A candidate in the pocket of teachers and other state workers can not bring real reform and fiscal sanity to Trenton.
We were right. State workers are now crowing about the best deal they’ve negotiated in 15 years and for good reason. No layoffs and Corzine has rewarded state employees with a new budget busting contract that tightens their stranglehold on New Jersey’s taxpayers.

So where’s New Jersey’s legislature on this? It’s been a mighty quite budget season since the Democrats announced their own vote buying scheme.

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At 12:44 PM, Blogger Mr. Bingley said...

You could say the unions are in bed with the Governor.


At 5:27 AM, Blogger KingGalbi said...

"But Jon Corzine can’t afford to alienate state workers if he hopes to become the next Governor of New Jersey."

So therefore he can afford to alienate small business owners and regular taxpayers? Corzine is and always will be a SCHMUCK. I thought Corzine wanted to make NJ affordable for middle class families....yeah, sure. I'm glad Corzine made it throught this painful ordeal, but I still hate his politics and if NJ keeps going this road to economic ruin, I just may start to hate Corzine.

At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

An 18 percent increase in state spending in just two years......

How many New Jersey residents have gotten an 18 percent increase in wages over the last two years to pay for this?

You do the math (Corzine won't).

The state is screwed.

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all state workers are “crowing”.The State has cut the budget for East Orange Schools. Pink slips will be given to more than 250 teachers. What does this mean? It's simple...if you’re a taxpayer in East Orange and your child attends public school, the ratio of students to teachers will be 42:1! Yeah...you read it right... 42:1!!
No “busting budget contract” here.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Enlighten-NewJersey said...

Public school teachers are not state workers, but in reference to your comments about East Orange, here are the facts:

An article from the Star-Ledger states the proposed school budget for the East Orange district is $185.9 million. According to the New Jersey Department of Education, the school district has a total student enrollment of 10,796. That comes out to $17,219 per student or about $5,000 more per student than the state’s average. A second article from the Ledger gives an enrollment figure of 11,258 students for the district. That would come out to $16,513 per student or about $4,500 more than the state average cost per student.

The article also says the state was asking East Orange to stay within a 3 percent spending increase for next year and that 80 percent of the district's budget represents salaries and benefits. That means East Orange is looking to spend $148,720,000 on compensation for the 2,500 people employed by the district, for an average of $59,500 per worker. It also means the district currently employs one person for 4.5 students, assuming the higher 11,258 enrollment number.

The articles also state the school board is looking at eliminating 257 non-tenured positions, including a total of 41 classroom teachers in order to save money. Assuming the layoffs occur, that means the district would have one worker for every 5 students. You said after the layoffs the ratio of students to teachers would be 42:1. If that’s correct, it means the district currently employs only 316 teachers out of a workforce of 2500. I doubt that’s correct, but if it is, that’s a huge problem – 7 employees supporting one classroom teacher. That’s a pathetic allocation of recourses and indicates the distinct is more likely a patronage pit than a school.

In any case, the district claims it needs tens of millions more to employ the same number of workers as last year. It rather makes our point about the huge increases in compensation government workers demand and receive each year. The contracts are in fact budget busting.

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