Re: Federal Stimulus News
As we write this letter, the Congressional Budget Office projects a ‘jaw dropping’ $1.2 trillion federal budget deficit this fiscal year. U.S. unemployment numbers roughly equal the population of the State of New Jersey. Roughly one out of every 600 homes in New Jersey faces foreclosure. Governor Corzine, in an effort to address state revenue declines, has cut an additional $15 million from already diminished municipal property tax relief funding programs. And Congress has set a goal for passage of the next economic stimulus bill by mid-February.
And, through the League, New Jersey municipalities have made their needs known.
In response to a December, 2008 request from the League, local governments all around New Jersey completed a survey specifying local infrastructure programs that could begin, with the requisite funding, by the end of June. By January 6, when the new Congress convened, over 132 municipalities had listed locally needed projects, the cost of which would total over $731 million. Since then, others have weighed in.
On January, 7, the League forwarded the lists to Senators Lautenberg and Menendez and to the rest of our entire Congressional Delegation, asking them to do all that they can to secure direct funding for these investments. We have already heard back from Senator Lautenberg, who has thanked us for the information and pledged to fight on our behalf.
If you were unable to complete the survey by the 6th, we urge you to do so as soon as possible. (You can access the survey at http://www.njslom.org/Municipal-Stimulus-Pkg.rtf.) You should then forward your needs to Senators Lautenberg and Menendez and to your district’s Congressman. (You can access addresses at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.)
Our thanks to all of you. We will do our best to keep you posted on important stimulus package developments.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.