(TRENTON) — Assembly Education Committee Vice-Chairman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chairman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman John F. McKeon (D-Essex), Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chairman Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen) and Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Passaic) issued a multimedia package Friday on Governor Christie’s vetoes of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Democratic budget plan for New Jersey.
The multimedia package consists of commentary from the Speaker and the aforementioned Democratic Budget Committee members expressing their disappointment in the governor’s vetoes and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of the members discussing the line item vetoes to the FY 2016 Democratic Budget plan is appended below:
Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Assembly Education Committee Vice-Chair:
“Well, I’m terribly disappointed that Governor Christie chose to veto our budget. I think it was a solid and reasonable fiscal plan to put New Jersey’s financial house in order.”
Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair:
“We are a representative democracy, which means the 220,000 people that I represent, they send us to Trenton to bring their voice. The budget that we sent to the governor reflected all those voices across the state. And with a single pen, one voice made decisions that affect many people in a way differently than they wanted their state budget to treat them.”
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson):
“I’m disappointed that the governor vetoed the millionaire’s tax. In the last six years, under this administration, we’ve been crushing the middle class.”
Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-Passaic), Assembly Budget Committee Chair:
“One can only scratch one’s head and wonder how an obligation as large and as looming as the pension is simply not being dealt with.
“But along with the pension not being dealt with, I think that one needs to understand as well that we’re not dealing with the Transportation Trust Fund, which everyone would agree is fundamental to New Jersey’s economic future and growth.
“Priorities of the state simply are not being met. While, at the same time, we go into deeper and deeper debt; our credit ratings go lower and lower. Under this governor, our credit ratings have declined nine times.”
Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex), Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair:
“Again, I’m disappointed that the governor, given the opportunity to make a full payment, will further kick the can down the road.”
Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen), Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chair:
“This veto and the actions by the governor is disappointing. I think he misses the mark on what the priorities are for the people of the State of New Jersey. I believe that he needs to really sit down and listen to the people of the State of New Jersey and maybe spend more time in the state.”
Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly (D-Passaic):
“Any loss of education funding is a loss for the State of New Jersey. It’s a loss for economic development. It’s a loss for public safety. It’s a loss for health issues. And, you know, I’m disappointed.”
“Those kinds of things, they affect the little guy. They affect the middle class, the lower middle class, the guy who’s just starting out. So, there is a frustration that there’s a disconnect, because the budget that he has signed, after he took his pen to it, does not reflect the values of the majority voice that brought the process to a conclusion.
“We sent him a budget that worked, on many levels. And he has sent back a document that is not as strong as the one we sent him.”