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***MULTIMEDIA PACKAGE*** Schaer on Importance of Budget Public Hearing Process

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(TRENTON) — Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic) issued a multimedia package Tuesday in which he discusses the importance of hearing the public’s concerns about state budgetary priorities and shares what some of his personal priorities are as the legislative review of Gov. Christie’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2015 state budget gets underway.

The multimedia package consists of comments from Assemblyman Schaer 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 Assemblyman Schaer’s comments is appended below:

Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Assembly Budget Committee Chair:
“These forums are tremendously important for the Legislature. It gives us a better understanding of what the real concerns that people have are.

“Nonetheless, I’m very frustrated and very concerned that we don’t seem to have any long term plan. We keep on, if you will, kicking the ball down the road and the ball is only getting bigger and heavier and more difficult to kick. We need to have a better plan in terms of where we hope to go as a state.

“We always speak about meaningful funding for the Transportation Trust Fund. We always speak about meaningful funding for higher education. There’s so many priorities that we have and yet we seem only to be working year after year in meeting them short-term, rather than the necessarily larger picture that we need to have.

“We’ve just received, in the past day or so, copies of the budget. They are available on the Internet and we’re expecting hard copies of them today, which will be extraordinarily helpful. We need to review those items; we need to hear the testimony of so many people who are going to be present today and next week, as well as to the Senate hearings. And we need to put it all together and see how we can make some good sense out of it.”