I have made the decision that we are not going to blindside our students, we are not going to blindside our seniors, our higher education institutions or those who rely on the safety net the state provides to balance the budget with only six weeks left in the fiscal year.
So you have to make choices and we are making them. We're choosing to be responsible in terms of the way we fund these critical priorities that matter to the people of the state. And we are choosing not put at risk those programs that I mentioned and those services that the people of the state rely upon, especially on such extraordinarily short notice. I'd love to give people tax relief.
I'd love to also be able to fund programs that are priorities and that matter a great deal to me and to the people of this state. But until we decide to be adults and deal with the problem we know we have we're not going to be able to do that. And so today I'm doing what I need to do to fulfill my constitutional obligation to balance a budget.
Today I'm going to pledge to make the payments that we need to make to not dig the hole any deeper. But in a time when we're confronted with this type of challenge I cannot also pay for all the sins of my predecessors, and so we're going to do this now. We're going to continue to try to get better as we move forward but you're going to continue to hear from me and you will hear from me soon with specifics on the way we need to change the pension and the health benefit system.
I've been saying over the course of the last number of months that come Fiscal Year '16 New Jersey is going to be paying more for health benefit costs for retirees than we pay for active employees. If there is any greater symbol for how untenable the system has become I don't know what it is.
And so we need to deal with this problem and we need to deal with it directly. I will fix the problems that have been foist upon us today.
But I'm going to need cooperation from the Legislature and elected officials across the state to deal with this problem going forward.