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(TRENTON) — Assembly Budget Committee Vice Chairman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic) issued a multimedia package Wednesday in which he discusses the state’s ongoing obligation to invest in higher education.

The multimedia package consists of a video of Assemblyman Schaer talking about the consequences of failing to expend significant resources on higher education and audio and a transcript of same.

The video can be accessed directly via our website — — or by clicking here.

The audio file is available upon request.

A transcript of comments from Assemblyman Schaer follows:

Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Assembly Budget Committee Vice Chair:
“Well, I think that we need to understand that the higher ed budget is being held flat.

“My concern with all of this is that New Jersey continues to be last in the nation in terms of the amount of funds that we contribute to our universities and colleges in the state. And yet, we have an expectation and a recognition that the only way for New Jersey to get out of the economic doldrums that we’re in today is by further educating our workforce and encouraging businesses to come here. But I think that all of us in New Jersey believe that if New Jersey is going to proceed, grow, expand economically, it’s going to be through a workforce which is better educated.

“Right now, the state is not making that commitment. Right now, the state is not making that a priority.

“We need to make sure that for these families — working class families, middle class families and certainly the poor as well as the rich — that college is something which is available to everyone.”