The Republican Governor and Democratic Senate President met and discussed how to fund the Transportation Trust Fund. The didn’t find a mutually agreeable solution, but they agreed on one thing… the gas tax should be raised by $0.23.
What cowardice. What weakness. What ignorance.
But as you know, I’m an optimist. There is some good news. There are a few brave souls left in Trenton on both sides of the aisle. Senator Mike Doherty has repeatedly called for audits of road projects, cuts in spending on projects like “The American Dream” and tax policies that would encourage job creating businesses to stay and relocate to NJ. Senator Ray Lesniak, although a liberal Democrat who’s been vocal about higher taxes, is at least as outraged as I am over the lack of accountability. Especially when it comes to projects like the Route 35 debacle. He’s ready to grill the acting DOT commissioner to answer for the $27.5 million for each mile of the 12 and a half mile stretch. It’s a good start. And then there’s Senator Jennifer Beck.
Enter the newest champion of the taxpayer. Beck and I spoke at length on the air this morning about where the budget can be cut. She’s got a plan that would cut more than a billion dollars out of the state budget by reforming and changing the state worker health insurance plan.
She also agreed to have her staff review and dig deeper on the cuts proposed by Chaser Alex Zdan. He identified about $700 million that could be cut without a major impact on state service (see below).