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Schaer: S&P Credit Downgrade Should be a Wake-up Call that Fiscal Can is Now Too Heavy to Kick Down the Road

(PASSAIC CITY) — After bond rating service Standard & Poor’s announced Wednesday that it is downgrading New Jersey’s general obligation debt credit rating to A+ from AA-, Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Gary S. Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic) released the following statement:

“For five years, we have watched neighboring states pass us by on the road to economic recovery, while New Jersey has struggled to emerge from recession.

“For five years, we in the Legislature have been handed budgets that have been constructed on unstable groundwork: with over-estimated revenue projections backed by one-shot funding sources that attempted to paper over ever growing budgetary holes.

“And for five years, we have seen budgets enacted that mortgage our future to finance the present.

“Now, we are seeing major credit rating agencies take note of these facts. The S&P credit downgrade, in no uncertain terms, tells us that the state’s fiscal can has become too heavy to kick down the road any further.

“If New Jersey is to ever climb out from under it’s mountain of debt, reverse our decaying credit rating and join our neighbors in a sustained, vigorous economic recovery, then the governor and his administration needs to address the harsh budgetary realities staring New Jersey residents in the face and work together with Legislative Democrats to address these issues.”

Following Wednesday’s downgrade, New Jersey gained the dubious distinction of being only one of three states in the country to have a single A tier rating from Standard & Poor’s, alongside Illinois (A-) and California (A).