(TRENTON) — Democratic members of the Assembly Budget Committee — Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), the panel’s chairman, Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen), John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), the Assembly Appropriations Committee Chairman, Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex), Joseph Cryan (D-Union), Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) and Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Passaic) — issued a multimedia package Monday on Gov. Christie’s vetoes of the Democratic budget for fiscal year 2015.
The multimedia package consists of a video of the Democratic Assembly members discussing the governor’s vetoes and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from the Budget Committee members is appended below:
Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Assembly Budget Committee Chairman:
“We are dismayed, frankly, that we could not reach a cooperative budget. We are dismayed that several of the key points of the budget that we presented are ones which he has simply dismissed.
“We’ve tried to work cooperatively. We’ve tried to make this indeed an issue of bipartisanship. Unfortunately, that has not been the approach which we have received from the governor’s office.”
Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen):
“With his pen, he’s redlined out those things that are important to the working people of this state: those who are less fortunate, and those who need more help to get back on their feet. Our priority is to ensure that they have a decent quality of life and the cuts that he’s made has damaged their ability to actually realize that American dream we all strive to see here in America.”
Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chairman:
“The governor’s actions, I think, are bringing more pain to the circumstances. Remember, New Jersey has suffered through the recession; our economy has not come back as well as our surrounding states. So, our general population has not been able to prosper, and that’s unfortunate.”
Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex):
“I’m disappointed because I thought that we delivered a fair budget. We delivered one that had obligations that were met and that were done. And I think that we tried to negotiate on a lot of items, and I just feel frustrated that, once again, we weren’t received with an open hand and with true bipartisan negotiations.
“The problem here is that we, as middle class citizens in the State of New Jersey, are the ones that are suffering the most. And, once again, this administration is just continuously doing what they’ve been doing the past couple of years. And we can’t keep running this state on debt and we have to come to a compromise on a lot of issues.”
Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union):
“Today’s veto that the governor provided here I think shows again a difference in philosophy. Some of us are for everyone; some of us are for someone. And the governor, in this particular case, is simply for the very few over the very many.
“I also think it’s particularly saddened because for those folks who are struggling, the Earned Income Tax Credit’s an important part of the New Jersey fabric of economic life. And I think that the veto today, which also affects that, is also disappointing as well.
“This is a governor that needs to understand that this is a state of nearly nine million diverse people. Nine million. Not a few hundred. Not a few of the wealthy. But the rest of us all deserve a fair shake.”
Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington):
“Obviously we’re disappointed that we couldn’t come to a consensus on this year’s budget. We really thought that we had put together something that balanced the concerns of all New Jerseyans, recognizing that we have priorities that need to be funded.”
Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Passaic):
“We were out to protect the working class families and do what’s best for the majority of the people here in the State of New Jersey. And I think we’ll continue to fight to do that and it’s unfortunate that we’re put in this situation.”
“It’s going to be a difficult year in New Jersey for those people who look to the state for any number of different benefits. But it’s a year, which nonetheless, we’re going to get through.”