Governor Jon S. Corzine
April 10, 2008
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GOVERNOR CORZINE DEFINES BUDGET SUCCESS
Speaks “CEO to CEO” at annual mayors conference
ATLANTIC CITY – Gov. Jon S. Corzine laid out his definition of success in the FY 2009 Budget process during his luncheon speech today before the New Jersey Conference of Mayors annual gathering here.
The governor identified four principles that must be met in order for the budget he proposed in February to meet his approval. The budget, which is now before the Legislature, must remain at $33 billion or less and cannot include new taxes or fees. It must also reduce the size of government and accomplish these goals without relying on one-shot funding mechanisms or raids on any long-term accounts, the governor said.
“More than ever, I am focused on fundamentally changing and correcting our state’s deeply flawed spending and fiscal habits….while maintaining a progressive, strong partnership with the people of New Jersey.
“All of these elements of a successful budget require we look at the end product as a whole cloth and – this is the important part – not only at the individual patches of the quilt.
“Borrowing more or relying on one-time revenues only aggravates next year’s problems – that’s been the classic mistake of digging the hole deeper and making the ultimate adjustment worse.
“Recognizing our financial limits, from one CEO to another, I continue to believe that government can and should be a force for good in our society by meeting the priorities like education, public safety, and providing for the most vulnerable.
“My job, along with the legislature, is to engage the debate and ensure a result we can all call a success.
“I believe -- and I hope you will agree -- it’s time to take drastic, transformative steps to change the course of our state’s fiscal direction. That time is now.”
On Feb. 26, Gov. Corzine proposed a $32.9 billion budget that included $2.7 billion in spending cuts. The proposal aims to eliminate the departments of Agriculture and Personnel, as well as the Commerce Commission, and seeks to reduce the state workforce by approximately 3,000 positions. The budget also preserves $16.7 billion in property tax relief programs and $11.5 billion for education, including a $600 million addition through the new School Funding Formula.
A balanced budget for the following fiscal year must be passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor by July 1, 2008.
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/