(TRENTON) — Assembly Appropriations Committee Chairman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester) issued a multimedia package Wednesday, at the conclusion of the Assembly’s review of the proposed fiscal year 2016 Budget, in which he levels criticism at the Christie administration’s lack of long-term fiscal planning and continued reliance on economic policies that have little proven efficacy in helping New Jersey improve its recover from the Great Recession at a rate comparable to neighboring states.
The multimedia package consists of Burzichelli’s commentary on this year’s budget review and audio and a transcript of same.
A clean copy of the audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of Assemblyman Burzichelli’s comments is appended below:
Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair:
“It all comes down to revenue because New Jersey has lagged behind in pulling itself out of the Great Recession. Previous recessions, we moved at a better pace. This one’s been very frustrating. We lag behind states we shouldn’t lag behind. And we, frankly, need more economy; we need more revenue; we need more prosperity.
“This is a representative democracy. There are 120 lawmakers; there is one governor. When you have majority numbers sending over bills to the governor’s desk, particularly those that are going to involve creating jobs and creating economy, only to see them be vetoed because of other interest, that becomes very frustrating.
“And I’ll give you an example. We had an opportunity to jump start the wind industry in New Jersey, which would’ve had a collateral effect on jobs and helped people’s utility bills a decade from now, and that was just simply set aside.
“We have sent him budgets to address pension payments; last year was a good example. He chose not to take our direction and has left a hole that now we are having a greater problem digging out of.
“So, there’s a lot of examples over these handful of years, and now we’re going to see the cost of operations grow, with our bond ratings downgraded, and it’s starting to trickle into cities and other jurisdictions around the state, so it becomes very complicated when you don’t pay attention to details.
“So, the policies over the last handful of years have not been as successful as we would like and they do warrant criticism.”