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Singleton Questions Christie’s Risky Budget Maneuvers

Questionable Revenue Streams Have Also Prompted Warnings from Standard & Poor’s

Assemblyman Troy Singleton, after an Assembly Budget Committee hearing with the State Treasurer on Thursday, questioned the Christie administration’s risky budget proposals for FY 2014, which rely heavily on uncertain revenue streams.

“There are a number of proposals in this year’s budget that rely on sizeable, but uncertain revenue streams.

“Last year the administration was relying on raiding $200 million in affordable housing funds, which has yet to materialize because the move is tied up in court. To date, we have not gotten any information on how the administration will plug the hole in this year’s or next year’s budget if this money does not come through.

“Now the Christie administration is proposing to plug a hole in the general fund by using $40 million from an as-yet-unsettled court case over contamination in the Passaic River, as well as an additional $60 million from other ‘unnamed’ settlements.

“It’s not surprising that Standard and Poor’s has issued a warning about these risky maneuvers. This is akin to a family balancing their checkbook based on the assumption that they’re going to hit the lottery.

“The Governor has boasted that the days of ‘one-shot’ revenue streams and gimmicks were over, but yet that’s what we continue to see. Given the shaky fiscal ground we’re still on, we should not be injecting any more risk into this year’s budget,” said Singleton (D-Burlington).