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(TRENTON) - Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) on Tuesday said Assembly Democrats will once again exercise the same circumspect approach as last year in dissecting Gov. Christie's FY 2014 budget proposal and its impact on working families throughout New Jersey.
"The Governor's reckless budget decisions last year have now come back to haunt him and it's homeowners who will pay the price. His wildly inflated and unrealistic revenue projections for the current fiscal year have not panned out, forcing him to once again delay the delivery of property tax relief.
"Gov. Christie seems to have forgotten how the budget process works. In order for us to sign off on any tax cut, he must first present us with a sound plan to fund such a proposal. With a nearly $500 million deficit right now, it is dishonest for the Governor to portray it in any other light.
"Had Democrats allowed the Governor to go through with his plan last year for tax cuts that disproportionately favor the wealthy, we would be in an even more precarious fiscal position right now. It's clear that the prudence and patience we employed was the right move and we intend to employ a similar approach this year.
"In the coming weeks and months we will pore through the Governor's budget proposal carefully, as we always do, to determine its impact on residents throughout New Jersey, particularly low and middle income families.
"Among the things we will look carefully at is how the Governor intends to fund healthcare for the poorest New Jerseyans, particularly when it comes to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and the appropriation of charity care funding for hospitals that treat the uninsured.
"We will also take a close look at the impact his school and municipal aid funding will have on our children's education, local property taxpayers and public safety.
"These are all crucial elements that we must address with one hand while keeping the other firmly fixed on addressing the needs of Sandy-ravaged communities," said Oliver.
NJ Assembly Majority Office
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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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