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Financial 411: New Jersey's Budget

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oil Prices Affected by Middle East Turmoil

As the world watched the growing political unrest in Libya, an OPEC member, crude oil prices spiked. The price of the barrel ended the day at more than $95, up nearly $6. Gasoline prices are rising as well, with the average price of a gallon going for $3.19. Peter Beutel, president of the energy research firm Cameron Hanover, says that fear is taking a toll. "One of the reasons prices have jumped as fast and high as they did this morning was that there is a fear that this could at some point become a Saudi problem."

Obama on Economics

President Barack Obama touched down in Cleavland in an effort to refocus attention on his economic plans. He shook hands at the airport with Ohio's new Republican Governor then moved to a university auditorium to ask 100 small business owners "what would make it easier for you to grow?"

New Jersey Budget

New Jersey's governor Chris Christie is proposing a budget of $29.4 billion in the coming fiscal year. The budget will cut spending, provide tax cuts for businesses and modestly increases school aid. It's part of what Christie calls "the new normal." WNYC's Bob Hennelly says that the property tax relief and additional school funding in the budget is tied into the Democratic state legislature. The school aid and property tax relief will be funded with major cuts to pension reform.

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