TRENTON – The chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee criticized Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday in the wake of the most recent revenue figures.
Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36) accused the governor of refusing to “acknowledge the problem or to present a responsible plan to address it” after the administration released figures showing a $425 million lag in revenues for the first six months of the fiscal year.
“While the modest boost in income tax revenue is a positive sign it is the only category that has even met projections. Most of the other major revenue categories continue to fall short and the bottom-line total, which is the most important figure, is far below his projections,” Sarlo said in a statement.
“We are halfway through the fiscal year, and total growth is 1.5 percent, a small portion of the 8.3 percent the governor built into the budget and a fraction of the 12.7 percent growth needed to bring the budget into balance,” he said. “The full revenue picture shows a continuing shortfall and the economic performance after six months gives little evidence that the governor’s deficit will be closed by itself. We welcome any positive signs but we must be realistic and responsible.”
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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