Governor Jon S. Corzine
February 27, 2008
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GOVERNOR CORZINE MEETS WITH CITIZENS TO DISCUSS THE BUDGET
TRENTON - Governor Corzine today met with New Jerseyans at the Tick-Tock Diner in Clifton to discuss his budget proposal that cuts spending by $2.7 billion. He stressed his determination to protect the core responsibilities of government - education, public safety and care for our most vulnerable. The Governor reiterated that cutting spending is just one step toward getting the state’s financial house in order, cutting spending alone will not reduce the state’s $32 billion debt. In fact, the state anticipates that upcoming 2010 fiscal year budget already faces a shortfall of $1.7 billion.
“I’m proud to have introduced a budget that cuts spending while placing a priority on these core functions of government, but unfortunately cutting spending will not solve our $32 billion debt problem on its own.” Governor Corzine said. “We need to pay down this debt sooner rather than later or else increased debt service payments will continue to crowd out funds for these core functions.”
In the Governor’s budget proposal total State Aid for education is $11.5 billion, up $614.1 million over last year. Of that, about $7.8 billion in formula aid for K-12 education will be distributed in accordance with the new school funding formula, an increase of $514.6 million from last year resulting in an increase in funding for every district.
The Governor’s goal for the new school funding formula is to bring greater equity and predictability to State funding for school districts in a manner that fulfills the State’s constitutional obligation to provide a “thorough and efficient” system of education to all students in New Jersey. To that end, the new formula replaces the former unpredictable, ad-hoc system of distributing State Aid by zip-code with a more streamlined approach that accounts for the needs of all students. In addition, the budget includes a $27 million increase for preschool programs.
The Governor understands that the high cost of living in our state rests heavy on New Jerseyans which is why the FY2009 budget still dedicates more than 50 percent of all spending, $16.7 billion, to property tax relief. The budget preserves homestead rebates averaging $1,000 for 1.6 million homeowners. In all, 90 percent of homeowners will continue to receive rebates while 1.2 million homeowners, or 70 percent, will receive the same rebate amount they received last year.
Governor Corzine has a plan composed a plan of four elements that will help to right New Jersey’s financial ship. First, get state spending under control. Second, future spending must match future recurring revenue. Third, out-of-control borrowing must end and fourth, reduce our crushing debt load and fund investments in infrastructure. This budget accomplishes the first task in that plan.
Photos from Governor Corzine's public events are available in the Governor's Newsroom section on the State of New Jersey web page, http://www.nj.gov/governor/news/