Schaer Statement on Moody’s Credit Downgrade

Assemblyman: Failed Fiscal Policies, Pension System Mismanagement Ruin State’s Outlook

Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer, chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the following statement Friday in response to Moody’s Investors Service issuing a credit rating downgrade for New Jersey:

“New Jersey’s receiving its ninth credit downgrade since the start of the Christie Administration is a reflection of the Administration’s lack of a long-term financial plan for the state. From transportation to higher education and everything in between, the failure to plan has yielded nothing but a plan to fail in New Jersey.

“As was the case with past downgrades, the state’s glaring pension crisis was a major factor in this decision. The financial world repeatedly and unequivocally has declared that the Administration’s mismanagement of the pension system makes our state fiscally unsound. These broken pension promises then manifest themselves as increased costs taxpayers simply cannot afford and do not deserve.

“Recognizing the ensuing dire consequences of not taking action, Democrats acted with foresight last year and presented the Governor with a budget that would have fully funded the pension system and put us on the path to financial wellbeing. The Governor’s veto of that budget was a precursor for the unfortunate news we’ve received today.

“As we again work to prepare a budget that meets the full sum of the state’s obligations in order to lift New Jersey from this fiscal abyss, it is with hopes that this ninth downgrade is the wake-up call that prompts the Administration’s cooperation.”