(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) released the following statement Tuesday after Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff declined an invitation to testify before the budget panel on Thursday to discuss state budget concerns:
“I’m very disappointed the treasurer could not find time to come before the budget committee to update New Jersey on our shared concerns about the current state budget.
“As we all know, the state budget situation hasn’t gotten better in the past year. We’re still facing a $10.5 billion shortfall, unemployment remains above 9 percent, we lost 16,300 jobs in December, pension payments were ignored and property taxes are soaring.
“These are discouraging signs, especially for working class New Jerseyans who deserve an update.
“The treasurer was very cordial and willing to speak to the committee last year. Continuing this approach is vital this year, particularly with several new members having been recently named to the committee who are unfamiliar with the state budget process.
“I hope the treasurer’s decision to decline this invitation doesn’t indicate an antagonistic change in tenor toward this committee. I also hope he reconsiders his decision and decides to join us in this vital conversation.”