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18th District Legislators Hope to Find Less Painful Solutions to Budget Crisis

TRENTON — Citing dramatic cuts proposed for municipal aid, school aid and vital social services, 18th District Legislators — Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono, Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr, and Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes III — will hold a local budget hearing to gauge the impact these cuts would have on Middlesex County residents and help formulate more equitable alternatives to deal with the looming budget gap.

“Now is the time when we will be sifting through the Governor’s budget proposals with a fine-toothed comb to find more reasonable alternatives. Middlesex residents deserve a chance to weigh in and be a valuable part of this process,” said Buono (D-Middlesex), former Chair of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “We can’t afford to shift the budget burden onto those who can least afford it, nor is it practical to cut programs that will cost more on the back end through increased property taxes or a loss in federal funding.”

“Public participation is key to crafting a state budget that reflects the values and concerns of all New Jerseyans,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “By holding a local hearing at Middlesex County College, we give the public another opportunity to tell us what to protect and what to cut from this year’s budget.”

“Holding a local evening hearing on the state budget gives Middlesex County residents an opportunity to share with us their concerns,” said Barnes (D-Middlesex). “Their input helps shape and guide the debate as we continue through this difficult budget year.”

The legislators will hold the hearing on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 from 6-9 pm at Middlesex County College (Cafeteria C) located in Edison. Residents will be given the chance to weigh in on the proposed FY 2011 budget, ask questions and propose alternatives.

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