Streams

NJ Budget Freeze

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yesterday Governor Christie announced severe budget cutbacks he says are needed to avoid "financial disaster." New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, (D-3rd), discusses what the freeze to school aid, cuts to New Jersey transit, and other measures mean for the Garden State's residents.

Guests:

Steve Sweeney
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [16]

hjs from 11211

FYI
New Jersey has the following local subdivisons of government: 567 municipalities, 611 school districts, 190 local authorities, 212 fire districts, and 21 counties. All of these entities have some form of taxing or assessing authority. A third of our municipalities have fewer than 5,000 residents; 20 percent of our towns have fewer than 2,500 people. We have five communities with populations under 100. We have municipalities completely encircled by other towns. The numbers speak for themselves; we have too much governance in this state. from the site:
http://www.state.nj.us/dca/lgshar5.htm

Feb. 12 2010 11:41 AM
fearless leader explainer

i'm shocked as his performance -- look at his commanding bio!

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/bio.asp?leg=216

Feb. 12 2010 11:27 AM
Peg from Upstate NY

Many other states share the same problems as those in NJ. As the entire nation continues to lose its private sector jobs, it becomes more and more difficult to fund all government programs. As more and more of our jobs disappear, more and more of our services - including schools and police will disappear too.

Sorry folks - but if you want good schools, you have to have the money to pay for it. Also as the private sector jobs and their benefits disappear, it becomes harder and harder to accept that government employees are guaranteed benefits that private sector citizens lose.

I'd like to see bold leadership to get on with investing with the jobs and industries of the future - like in Wind and Solar power, medical delivery and technology, sustainable redesign of urban areas... These types of investments would help assure that we continue to deliver essential services to our citizens.

Feb. 12 2010 10:48 AM
Peter Ungar from New rochelle, NY

I wonder how much the average pay increase of New Jersey teachers is scheduled to be next year.

Feb. 12 2010 10:46 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

Christie is trying to "starve the beast," which is not the smartest way to do things.

Sweeney has the right idea about beginning to consolidate local service provision, including school districts, instead of just saying we're going to cut spending. Smart planning and new, creative ways of conducting business are the only real ways out of NJ's fiscal problems.

Feb. 12 2010 10:43 AM
Stephen from maplewood

"I told you so!"

This is exactly what I said would happen. Christie is going to raise my "taxes". I have to move out of Maplewood because I can't afford the taxes any more. Now I'm going to have to pay higher train fares and higher property taxes. You can call it anything you want, but he is raising my taxes with these measures.

Feb. 12 2010 10:43 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

"We pay too much in taxes."

Isn't it interesting that the only thing that is not among "everything has to be looked at" is taxes.

Taxes on billionaires? Too high.

Taxes on millionaires? Too high.

Taxes on corporations that pay no taxes? Too high.

The rest of the world understands that taxes are levied for a reason. But not Americans.

So let's cut all taxes to zero and see how long the country keeps going.

Feb. 12 2010 10:40 AM
dave hochman from monmouth beach

Sweeney talks about "picking other people's pocket" thats rich, so rich coming from a NJ public official. The state & public apparatus - the lazy, incompetent and rude workers and the public officials who feeds off the blood of the worker and small biz owners talking indignantyly about "other people's money" so preposterous, this is a home run for Christie

Feb. 12 2010 10:40 AM
KK in Edison from UWS

I forgot to include North Brunswick.

Feb. 12 2010 10:39 AM
KK in Edison from UWS

Nothing will ever get better in New Jersey until they consolidate school districts and local governments. In my area, there are eight governments within a 6 mile radius (Edison, Highland Park, Metuchen, Piscataway, South Plainfield, New Brunswick, East Brunswick). It's ridiculous.

Feb. 12 2010 10:37 AM
paul from NJ

The underlying problem with property taxes is the consistent tendency of municipal governments and school boards to award annual salary increases of 4,5 and even 5 percent over multiple year contracts, even in this time of economic pressure where pricvate sector emoplyees are seeing no salary increases. If draining local surpluses forces towns to say no to exhorbitant public employee and teacher contract negotiations, it will be worth the effort.

Feb. 12 2010 10:37 AM
dazed & confused from ncy

Sweeney sounds drunk or illiterate??? This is who NJ voted into office? Does he reflect NJ residents in his district?? He doesnt even seem to understand the issue enough to articulate it let alone resolve it.

Feb. 12 2010 10:35 AM
Derek from Oyster Bay,New york

Why does Mr. Sweeny keep repeating himself? we've got "Five Hundred million dollars".. Blah, Blah, Blah....

Feb. 12 2010 10:35 AM
Just, HUH?

crazyiest-, most confused- sounding guest you've ever had. He's not answering your questions, John, because he has no idea what you said. It's as if he stops listening after your second word...or he's been on too many bad radio shows.

Feb. 12 2010 10:34 AM
Diane from Caldwell NJ

I am so glad that someone is doing something. I was so disappointed by the lack of financial leadership by Corzine.

We - taxpayers - can no longer afford these perks for teachers and government employees THose of us in the private sector don't have retirement plans nor health care plans as generous as public employees.

One question is how will the governor limit tax increases when local school boards can appeal and get rejections overturned so easily.

Go for it Governor. And I didn't vote for him. But I am supporting him now.

Feb. 12 2010 10:32 AM
hjs from 11211

maybe the state should STOP subsidizing the 100's of needless local governments (county, school district with no schools to start).
anyone know what the counties do?
is it true the town christie comes from has more than one police force?

Feb. 12 2010 10:18 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.