New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Jennifer Beck again called on Governor Corzine yesterday to publicly detail the steps he has taken to deal with a budget deficit of at least $600 million. Despite the fact that the deficit is growing every day as revenue collections sputter, the Governor continues to sign new spending bills into law without saying what will be cut to pay for them. A $600 million planned budget surplus for the current year has already been impacted by a $1.2 billion revenue drop that has yet to be addressed.
In 2001, the last time revenues began dropping shortly after the budget was signed, Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco periodically released to the public a list of accounts he had frozen to protect against revenue losses. When he signed legislation that included new appropriations, DiFrancesco would simultaneously release a list of existing budget items that were frozen to accommodate the new spending. The public was kept informed of steps that were taken to address budget problems and provided the opportunity to comment and suggest alternatives.
"Governor Corzine needs to come out of the bunker," said Kean. "The Governor owes the public an explanation about what funds he will cut to address a revenue drop and pay for the spending bills he has continued to sign every day."
"The Governor has failed to embrace Republican budget savings ideas or offer his own ideas to address a growing deficit and new spending," said Beck. "The Governor needs to immediately step up to the plate and explain what he is doing to avoid a fiscal train wreck."