Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kean: Bond Grading Downgrade Demands Action

Responding to news that Standard and Poor's has downgraded the State of New Jersey's bond rating, New Jersey Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) issued the following statement on the Senate Majority's failure to address needed financial reforms in last year's legislative session:

"Standard and Poor's sent a clear message to Legislative leadership today- get serious about reform," said Senator Kean. "Pension reform, employee benefits reform, and other measures integral to fixing our state's finances were put on the table last year by Governor Christie, but were left untouched by Trenton Democrats. This is an ambitious agenda, but one necessitated due to eight years of spending, borrowing, and dishonest budgeting by the very same legislators dragging their feet on reform today. The taxpayers are once again the victims, as more of their tax dollars will now be spent on interest and debt service instead of improving their communities."

S&P announced today that the state's bond rating has been dropped from AA to AA-.

"The markets have run out of patience for cleverly packaged half measures- such as the Democrats' civil service reform bill- that preserve the status quo under the guise of change and do nothing to actually save money," Kean said. "It's now or never to tackle the unfinished business and make the big decisions that will put state government on a financially sustainable course. Either we act now or we continue to lose the confidence not only of the lenders who make it possible to build new roads and bridges and schools, but of the people we have been elected to serve."

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