Singleton, Schaer & Lagana Bill Requiring Governor to Detail New Revenue Proposals Advanced by Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Troy Singleton, Gary Schaer and Joseph Lagana requiring a clear and concise analysis of new revenue sources proposed by the governor was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

Under the bill (A-3311), if the governor recommends, in his annual budget message, new or additional sources of revenue that each raise $1,000,000 or more in state funds, the revenue sources must be separately identified and the budget message must include a full and detailed fiscal analysis of these revenue sources.

“Essentially, this change is designed to avoid any delay in disclosure or a less than full and detailed analysis of new or additional revenue sources proposed by the governor,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “In order to produce a budget that’s both responsible and compassionate we need to ensure that revenue proposals are not just smoke and mirrors and that the money is being allocated wisely.”

The analysis must also include an estimate of the funds anticipated to be available as a state resource or for appropriation during the fiscal year. This disclosure requirement shall also be included in any revisions the governor makes to the budget message.

“Without a clear and concise picture of the governor’s revenue recommendations our ability to work cooperatively to fulfill our shared responsibility to enact a balanced state budget will be impeded,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This is all the more important given our current fiscal restraints and our need to prioritize spending.”

“This bill will create more transparency in the budgeting process. It is important that we have the ability to thoroughly examine new revenue sources to ensure their soundness and allocate them appropriately,” said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic).

The bill was approved by the Assembly Budget Committee.