Urges Residents to Come with Ideas for Change During Tough Budget Year

(TRENTON) — Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Louis D. Greenwald on Wednesday announced residents will have three opportunities to address the Assembly Budget Committee as it examines Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed Fiscal Year 2010 state budget.

“Public hearings are among the most important sessions this committee holds each year, and this year they may prove even more important,” said Greenwald (D-Camden). “The state budget directly effects every New Jerseyan, and the input and ideas we receive from residents is vital. Their thoughts and ideas are especially welcome in what will be a difficult budget year.”

Unlike in past years, this year’s public hearing will be interspersed with the hearings dedicated to department-by-department spending, so the public hearings won’t all be grouped at the beginning.

“This will provide residents and groups an opportunity to have reviewed the spending proposal and have heard testimony, allowing them to address specific areas in the budget as we move,” Greenwald said. “The budget is always evolving, and so should the testimony.”

This year’s public hearings will be held:

  • Wednesday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. at the Scottish Rite Auditorium, Grand Ballroom, 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood.
  • Monday, April 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the State House Annex, Fourth Floor, Committee Room 11, Trenton.
  • Monday, May 10 at 9:30 a.m. at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark.

Greenwald emphasized the committee will stay as long as it takes at each hearing to hear all testimony from anyone wishing to provide it, even if that means waiting into the evening.

Anyone wishing to testify should contact the Office of Legislative Services’ Budget and Fiscal Office at 609-292-8030 to register to address the committee.

“It’s more imperative than ever that everyone who comes before this committee not just list problems, but provide potential solutions,” said Greenwald. “This will help ensure that we arrive at a final budget that cuts spending while being as fair as possible to taxpayers, businesses and our most vulnerable residents.”

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