Come on, it's NJ and our elected officials in Trenton are ready to borrow $3.9 billion without voter approval! Yes, this along with the state's $32.8 billion FY 2009 budget are up for discussion in Trenton today.
Governor Corzine will get most of what he asked for in the budget; cuts in municipal aid, cuts to hospital funding, cuts to nursing homes, cuts to property tax rebates and a denial of cost of living increases to the state's non profits caring for the poor.
What's necessary to solve the state's fiscal dilemma is benefit and pension reform. That's for public employees as well as elected officials. Well, our Governor is still up in the air on this, as is our Legislature. This is the time to take a stand!
Perhaps the biggest debate today will focus on a $3.9 billion proposal to restart a school construction program. That program has already cost the state $8.6 billion, and not all the work is done. Even the Governor admits the program stalled due to mismanagement.
That $8.6 billion was spent following a 1998 NJ Supreme Court order that new schools be built in the state's poorest cities. Now citing the Court decision, the Governor says the voters need not approve additional spending!
The NJ Constitution requires voter approval for the state to borrow money. We're already $32 billion in debt and rank 4th ion the nation's list of indebted states.
Can someone tell me how this borrowing and spending is going to help NJ? Maybe they can't and that's why the voters won't be allowed to decide!