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(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) released the following statement on Wednesday on Standard & Poor’s decision to lower its long-term and underlying ratings on New Jersey’s general obligation debt to AA- from AA:

“This decision is unfortunate for our taxpayers but not all that surprising considering Gov. Christie’s irresponsible budget policies.
“First we had all those property tax increases. Now we have Wall Street credit agencies lowering our bond ratings.
“Gov. Christie inflicted severe damage last year when he skipped the state’s pension payment. It was reckless and made the problem much worse.
“It was so short-sighted, in fact, that it wiped out all the benefits from the bipartisan pension reforms ushered into law early last year.
“Now, the governor is pushing forward with a plan to borrow several billion more dollars without voter approval, so sadly the Christie damage ain’t over yet. More debt is on its way.
“It’s time the governor took responsibility for his own actions and stopped trying to blame others. The buck certainly doesn’t stop at Gov. Christie’s desk, even as he hikes property taxes throughout the state and makes our budget situation even more dire.”