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Speaker Oliver on Christie Budget Proposal: The Governor has Become the Master of Distraction; Once Again the Devil Will Be in the Details

Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex) on Tuesday released the following statement on Governor Christie’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2013:

“What we got today was merely a speech, nothing more. As we’ve seen with each of the Governor’s prior budget proposals, the devil will be in the details that have yet to be delivered to us.

“Now begins the intensive process of dissecting his proposals to ensure that our priorities are being met and that the working poor and the middle class will not once again bear the largest burden. Unfortunately, at first glace, that same recurrent theme appears to be in place.

“No matter how the Governor dresses it up, a 10 percent across-the-board income tax cut is still a disproportionately generous gift for the wealthiest among us, one that will have little-to-no impact on the lives of working class New Jerseyans. Even more puzzling is the lack of details on how the Governor intends to pay for his millionaires’ gift.

“The most glaring omission in his speech, however, was the complete and utter absence of a plan to address property taxes. Every media outlet, every elected official and the majority of our citizens have identified property taxes as the single most pressing issue facing our state and yet the Governor has once again failed to make this a priority. Together with Senate leadership, we intend to make this a focal point of our budget process in the coming weeks and months.

“It’s become clear that the Governor, much like a magician, has become the Master of Distraction. So while he waves around one hand with gimmicks like ‘The Jersey Comeback’ and an income tax cut proposal, he’s hoping no one will notice that his other hand has been slashing programs for working families for the last two years.”