(TRENTON) — Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex) released the following statement on Gov. Chris Christie’s budget address:

“This is a tough budget during difficult times, but we always must be careful about consequences.

“The General Assembly will significantly cut spending and consider the governor’s initiatives, but we cannot blindly move ahead without examining the impacts on working class New Jerseyans, senior citizens, children and those less fortunate.

“Gov. Christie’s plan to cut back the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit is, for instance, a tax increase for the working poor.

“Initiatives that sound nice will need to be examined closely to see if they’re actually workable.

“Cuts that prompt higher property taxes, lead to more uninsured and unemployed and risk quality education in our schools send the wrong message to hard-working New Jerseyans.

“We will now begin our Constitutional obligation to review this budget and its tax proposals line-by-line. I look forward to a serious, open debate highlighted by cooperation by all involved to reach the best conclusion possible.”

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