TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie used his line item veto to remove $900 million in spending from the budget that the Democrat-controlled Legislature passed Wednesday, resulting in a $29.7 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins today.
Among the governor’s cuts:
- $500 million in funding for suburban schools
- $139 million in transitional aid to troubled cities, such as Camden and Trenton
- $50 million in municipal public safety grants
- $47 million for Urban Enterprise Zones
- $46 million in tuition aid grants
- $7.5 million for family planning services
The governor also vetoed separate legislation that would have raised the state income tax rate for residents making more than $1 million per year. However, he signed a bill cutting minimum corporate business tax on S-class corporations by 25 percent
“It is my solemn pact with the residents and taxpayers of New Jersey to never allow a return to the kind of reckless, autopilot spending that devastated our state’s economic health in years past and which was embodied in the budget I repaired, a relic of days when there was no concern for the state’s fiscal reality,” Gov. Chris Christie said. “The actions I have taken today reinforce a commitment to protecting taxpayer dollars, safeguarding critical priorities like education, and rejecting tax increases that impede economic expansion and job creation.”
The governor said that the Democrat-sponsored budget overestimated revenues by $365 million and failed to fully fund initiatives such as the senior tax freeze program, which would have run a $30 million deficit.
“Just like last year, the governor is placing the weight of this budget around the neck of every working family,” said state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex.) “Our schools are not being made whole, and seniors are still going to see their property taxes go up. All the while, the wealthiest New Jerseyans are still being saved from any of the governor’s ‘shared sacrifice.’”
Democrats are likely to try to overturn the governor’s vetoes, but would need support from some Republican lawmakers to do so.
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