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(TRENTON) — Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Chairman Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) released the following statement on Thursday on Gov. Christie’s speech:

“While Gov. Christie’s remarks outline a road map for a balanced budget, the path takes us in a wrong direction.

“Slashing the popular and successful job-creating InvestNJ program — which was fully subscribed — sends the wrong message to our small businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy. Small businesses are already struggling daily amid this recession and now a jobs program they raced to take part in has been taken away.

“Gov. Christie doesn’t seem to understand that economic development and job creation should be our top priority. His plan will make our recovery from the global recession even more difficult and risk the progress we’ve made.”

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