Saturday, July 08, 2006

What happened to the budget?

From the Star Ledger:

Lawmakers still debating budget

As an unprecedented state government shutdown entered its eighth day, lawmakers this morning began debating a $30.9 billion budget that will include New Jersey’s first sales tax increase in 16 years.

The final negotiations bogged down as lawmakers bickered over individual items in the spending plan. A preliminary analysis shows more than $310 million of legislative additions, often called “Christmas tree” items, are included in the spending plan. These items are cash grants that are sent back to home districts by lawmakers.

“This is the Atkins diet Trenton-style. A rush for pork,” said Assemblyman Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex). “I’m not shocked we’re standing here. People are still wrangling for the last nickel they can get for their districts or themselves. And we’ve been out of business for seven days. That’s shameful.”

The delays meant that state parks and motor vehicle offices will remain closed today.

There was no word on when action would be taken on other state government operations, including horse racing, the lottery, or when Atlantic City’s 12 casinos would reopen. All three operations have said they can be open within hours of Corzine signing an order to end the shutdown.


There were a few "minor" additions added to the budget, a last-minute sort of thing. From the AP via the Star Ledger:

Republicans rail against millions in budget add-ons

The $30.8 billion budget state lawmakers were considering Saturday included $270 million in last-minute add-ons.

The special projects were not part of Gov. Jon S. Corzine's original budget proposal, but were tacked on by legislators late Friday, including many that would help municipalities and organizations represented by key Democratic leaders.

As the Assembly budget panel considered the budget bill early Saturday, Republicans, who are not the party in power, railed against the items they categorized as gifts to influential Democrats' districts.
...
Paterson library, $1 million
Barnesboro Firehouse, Mantua, roof repair, $40,000.
Sewell Boys and Girls Club, renovations, $150,000.
United Jewish Appeal of River Edge, capital improvements, $50,000.
Municipal assistance to Trenton, Newark, Ewing, Irvington, East Orange, Orange and Gloucester City, $44 million.
Aid to school districts in Lawrence, Edison, East Brunswick and South Plainfield, $3.5 million.
Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey, $1.3 million.
Camden Eye Center, $350,000.
Cancer Institute of New Jersey, South Jersey, $6.9 million.
Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey, operating expenses, $500,000.
Veterinary Medicine Education Program, $1.3 million.
Montclair Art Museum, $200,000.
Community Theater of Morristown, $50,000.
Rutgers-Camden Performing Arts Center, $450,000.
Cherry Hill Township, library debt service, $1 million.
Passaic County Utilities Authority, incinerator debt, $3 million.
West Deptford, diesel-fired generator, $200,000.
Logan Township, sidewalk improvements, $110,000.
Paulsboro, property acquisition and demolition costs, $50,000.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

www.nj.com/newslogs/starledger

"The $30.9 billion state budget that includes New Jersey's first sales tax increase in 16 years passed both houses of the legislature this morning and Gov. Jon Corzine said he expects to sign it later today.

Just after 6 a.m., Corzine signed an executive order that ends the first government shutdown in the state's history and said the 12 casinos in Atlantic City should be open "within the hour.'"

7/08/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone hear if the beaches will reopen right away?

Pat

7/08/2006 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

From the same link:

The budget includes:

Non-senior homeowners who earn more than $70,000 will get only $250 rebates - $100 less than last year.

In his March 1 budget address, Corzine had promised to increase all rebates by 10 percent from last year. He already had abandoned a campaign promise to double the rebates. But even his more modest goal has now fallen victim to other budget priorities.

Smokers will pay 17.5 cents more per pack in taxes, giving New Jersey the highest cigarette tax in the nation.

People will pay the new 7 percent sales tax on magazines they buy in stores, but not magazine subscriptions.

Small-business owners who now pay a $500 minimum corporate tax will face an increase.

A new tax will make fur coats even pricier.

A one-time “luxury” tax would be imposed on cars and trucks costing $45,000 or more and vehicles that get 19 miles per gallon or less.

7/08/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cancer Institute of New Jersey, South Jersey, $6.9 million.
Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey, operating expenses, $500,000"

Funding the fight against cancer and cerebral palsy is being criticized as "a give-away to Democratic districts?" Give me a bleeping break.

7/08/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

"Municipal assistance to Trenton, Newark, Ewing, Irvington, East Orange, Orange and Gloucester City, $44 million."

isn't everyone getting sick and tired of propping up these shanty towns? i guarantee you about 25% of that cash will disperse in some form of bribery/handout via inflated costs, political givebacks and the like.

like bloomberg starting doing with the NYC schools, the state should go after these rat beds of corruption and make them accountable in squeezing every last drop out of funding they received.

7/08/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just another shameful performance by the pols.

Many of these towns should just
be turned over to the bloods and
crips.

Let them run it, at least we know
what they are.

7/08/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funding the fight against cancer and cerebral palsy is being criticized as "a give-away to Democratic

Political pork items are always hidden into nice sounding names. You never find pork items like "political pork for my friend Ted", instead, say, Ted is getting $5M PR budget or $1M salary for being a a director of special operations at Cancer institute. In general, these last minute items should be banned. They should be debated openly just like other budget items (instead of being inserted in the last minute without any public scrutiny).

7/08/2006 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Fair Lawn getting a
nice little 13% kicker in the old
taxes.

An $880K Firetruck,

Bergen County has more Firetrucks
than all of NYC.

More Waste.

7/08/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NJ continues to tax it citizens.

They will vote with their feet.

As in, leaving the State along
with business as well.

The State needs to reduce spending.

This is something that Trenton
still does not get.

They should consider selling assets
like the turnpike, but they won't
because that is one of the sources
of control for the politicians.

This state is just loaded with
Political patronage.

So while we have a budget it will
be back to business as usual.

The taxpayer will continue to suffer.

7/08/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Political pork items are always hidden into nice sounding names. You never find pork items like "political pork for my friend Ted", instead, say, Ted is getting $5M PR budget or $1M salary for being a a director of special operations at Cancer institute."

Do you have anything to back up your apparent assertion that the Cancer Institute of New Jersey is essentially a fraudulent entity ("political pork hidden into nice sounding names") serving no legitimate purpose, or that it is corruptly managed? If so, I'd like to see the evidence. If not, why make such accusations without learning the facts, especially about something as important as cancer research/care?

7/08/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this is an important and good things to do then it should be debated openly (and approved) just like other items instead of inserted in the middle of night. NJ is the most corrupted stated after Louisiana and pork is a real problem.

There are plenty of "good" things to do.

7/08/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous dl said...

"Aid to school districts in Lawrence, Edison, East Brunswick and South Plainfield, $3.5 million.
Montclair Art Museum, $200,000.
Community Theater of Morristown, $50,000."

These aren't poor communities.

7/08/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, but these towns are like ticks.

suck the blood (taxpayer)

It's a joke

7/08/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There are plenty of "good" things to do."

Wow, that was unbelievably dismissive. Obviously your family has never been stricken by the absolute nightmare of cancer, or I doubt you would speak so smugly.

7/08/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

Wow, that was unbelievably dismissive. Obviously your family has never been stricken by the absolute nightmare of cancer, or I doubt you would speak so smugly.

Then what about AIDs? Or sickle cell anemia? Or a personal one for me, Lou Gehrig's disease?

How can the state TELL me or DECIDE for me where MY money is to go when it comes to charity?

I agree, they are not pork, but they also do NOT belong on the state budget. I donate MY money to ALS because I choose to and I recommend you donate your money as you see fit for your cause.
But once again, this DOES NOT belong on the state budget.

"Top ten answers are on the board...
Show me budget cuts!"

7/08/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way I see it the new budget increase withe the increased spending will cost the average middle class (70K/annum IS middle class) with a small business and a house about $1500- $2000 a year.

7/09/2006 05:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

"Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey, $1.3 million"

If the politicos want to understand why many people in NJ are walking around involuntarily shouting obscenities, they ought to look in the mirror.

7/09/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The $30.8 billion budget state lawmakers were considering Saturday included $270 million in last-minute add-ons.

The special projects were not part of Gov. Jon S. Corzine's original budget proposal, but were tacked on by legislators late Friday, including many that would help municipalities and organizations represented by key Democratic leaders"


Ah - now I can see why they needed the increase in sales tax so desperately.....

7/10/2006 12:56:00 PM  

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