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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608


6-29-12 p.m. Governor signs State Budget Fiscal Year 2012-2013 with line item vetos
The Record - Christie signs budget bill with some vetoes… “An increase in direct aid to local schools also made it through.”

Star Ledger - Gov. Chris Christie signs $31.7B budget with spending cuts

Politickernj – FY2013 budget cuts

Governor’s Press Release 6-29-12 - Governor Christie Delivers Third Balanced Budget Without Raising Taxes, Protects Key Priorities for New Jerseyans

The Record - Christie signs budget bill with some vetoes… “An increase in direct aid to local schools also made it through.”


Governor Christie signed a budget Friday afternoon that spends more on education and public employee pensions, but maintains only flat funding for property tax relief -- while leaving the door open to more.

The new budget -- which comes just over a day before the July 1 deadline for a new spending plan set forth in the state constitution – also cuts business taxes and doesn’t include the increase in the income tax rate on millionaires sought by Democrats.

Democrats set up Christie’s actions on Friday by sending the governor their own $31.7 billion budget bill on Monday, a spending plan based largely on the $32 billion budget the governor proposed back in February.

But the Democrats made several appropriation and language changes in their budget bill, and also sent Christie a series of budget-related bills, including one to hike the income tax rate on earnings over $1 million to pay for middle-class property tax relief.

Christie used the line-item veto to reverse some of the Democrats’ changes in the budget bill, and also vetoed other bills the Democrats sent him.

After all those actions, several items Christie included in his original spending plan and Democrats maintained in their budget bill survived the process, including an increase of business tax breaks to $348 million and a boosting of the payment into the state pension system to $1 billion. An increase in direct aid to local schools also made it through.

Star Ledger - Gov. Chris Christie signs $31.7B budget with spending cuts

Published: Friday, June 29, 2012, 7:45 PM Updated: Friday, June 29, 2012, 10:16 PM

By Salvador Rizzo/Statehouse BureauThe Star-Ledger

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie brandished his veto pen Friday before signing into law a $31.7 billion budget, cutting spending and policy language presented to him by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

The governor’s signature, along with a sea of red slashes, capped a bitter budget season in Trenton marked by taunts and insults and tax-cut proposals that failed to take off.

The result was a budget that cost exactly what Democrats proposed, and 6.7 percent larger than the one Christie had approved last year. Although the governor cut $86 million from various programs, he used that money to help bulk up the state’s cash reserves to $648 million.

Christie’s cuts this time around were a far cry from the nearly $1 billion he red-lined last year. His budget pumps $1 billion into the strained pension fund, and boosts financing for education to an all-time high of $8.9 billion.

But with a separate set of vetoes, the governor quashed Democrats’ plans to restore money for social services and other programs. He nixed a bill to pump $7.5 million into clinics for women, refused to return $66 million in energy tax revenue to cities, and vetoed a proposal to bolster tax credits for the working poor after slashing them in 2010.

Left untouched was a bill to raise taxes on millionaires that Democrats passed Thursday. Christie has vowed to veto that, too, but didn’t address it Friday, leaving lawmakers to wonder when that shoe would drop.

"This spending as usual is just more of the same mentality that plagued the eight years before I became governor, when there was reckless spending and a cycle of raising taxes and fees every 25 days," Christie said in a statement.

Medical services for the elderly were cut by $21 million, and Christie made a series of smaller multimillion-dollar cuts to some educational programs and emergency aid to cities. As he did last year, Christie also removed layers of legislative oversight that the Legislature had proposed.

But the governor also let stand $14 million Democrats added to his budget, distributed among programs for the elderly, child care, cancer research and legal services for the poor.

Christie has been clamoring for a tax cut all year, and he banged that drum again. "This budget is a critical step to keep our state moving in the right direction and, when coupled with a much-needed tax cut, will send a signal that we are rooting for New Jersey," Christie said. "After two hard years of shared sacrifice we’re no longer on the brink of fiscal catastrophe."

But State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), chairman of the budget committee, said a tax cut now, when the economy is still wobbly, would be irrseponsible.

Sarlo said Christie’s prediction for a 7.4 percent surge in revenue for the fiscal year beginning tomorrow was unrealistic. "The governor’s insistence on tax cuts now, before we know if we can truly afford them and six months before they would even take effect, is a platform built on national campaign rhetoric rather than fiscal reality," Sarlo said.

View full sizeTim Sparvero/The Star-Ledger

In his State of the State speech in January, Christie proposed a 10 percent across-the-board income tax, assuring lawmakers the state could afford it because the "New Jersey Comeback" had begun. Weeks later, he unveiled a $32.1 billion budget that included the first down payment on his tax cut — $183 million. His plan would have been phased in over three years beginning Jan. 1, costing $1.3 billion by 2016.

Democrats answered with their own plans to slash property taxes instead, but only for residents with household incomes under $250,000. Democratic leaders contended Christie’s plan favored the rich — who struggle less with the state’s progressive income tax structure — over the middle class.

Trenton suddenly acquired a newfound appetite for cutting taxes, but it was stifled by a dizzying series of poor economic news over the next few months.

New Jersey was one of few states falling short of revenue projections, the unemployment rate inched up every month, the state’s economic performance came in 47th in the nation for 2011, a federal report showed, and Standard & Poor’s panned Christie’s budget as a rickety plan that could falter under pressure.

Then, in May, the Office of Legislative Services warned the administration could be overestimating revenue by $1.4 billion through June 2013.

Despite evidence pointing to one of the slowest economic rebounds in the country, Christie never backed off his ambitious revenue projections for fiscal 2013, which at 7.4 percent were are the highest of any governor.

Fixated on a tax cut, he reneged on promises to rely less on one-time revenue sources, raiding various funds and money earmarked for transportation, even raising the state’s debt load for road and bridge projects.

For Assembly and Senate Democrats, the economic indicators were alarming enough to cool their dueling tax-cut plans. They set aside $183 million for a new property tax credit but declined to pull the trigger until year’s end — and only if the finances improve.

For a brief moment, it looked as if Christie might get his tax cut. On May 15, the governor was prepared to stand side-by-side with Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) to announce a compromise. But Sweeney never told other Senate Democratic leaders, who were steamed, and the news conference was abruptly canceled.

"We agreed everybody was talking the same language," Christie said at a recent town hall before lashing out at Democrats. "I got fooled. And it’s hard to admit in front of 750 people you got fooled, but I got fooled."

He vowed a summer tour to berate Democrats. "I am going to kick their rear ends from one end of the state to the other to get you a tax cut."

Politickernj – FY2013 budget cuts

By Bill Mooney | June 29th, 2012 - 4:52pm

TRENTON – The governor cut numerous elements of the FY2013 budget today, including some of the extra items Democrats included:

*Transitional Aid to Localities was reduced to $108.6 million from $113.6 million

*Nursing home medical assistance payments were cut from $686 million to $672 million

*Gov. Christie completely reduced medical day care service appropriations from $9.28 million to his original recommendation of $3.28 million

*On another health care area, he reduced payments for medical assistance recipients-waiver initiatives appropriation of $6.08 million is cut to his original recommendation of $3.9 million

*Grants for after-school and summer activities for at-risk children was eliminated

*$500,000 was cut from the business incubator network

Various pension payments were reduced, including the Police and Fireman’s Retirement System from $19.52 million to $19.25 million. The reduced amount will be sufficient to fund the 2013 pension contribution, the governor’s office said in a statement.

Similarly for the Public Employees Retirement System, the $257.6 million appropriation has been trimmed to $242 million, which the administration says is sufficient for the 2013 contribution.

*An appropriation of $631 million for the Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund is reduced to $612 million

*Legal Services of N.J. was cut from $19.8 million to $14.9 million

However, he left in some of the Democrats’ inclusions:

*$750,000 for NJ After 3 was left in and $1 million for grant funding for after-school and summer activity programs put in by Democrats were preserved

*He left in $3.5 million in NJ CEED for cancer screening and detection and $1 million for cancer research

Governor’s Press Release 6-29-12 - Governor Christie Delivers Third Balanced Budget Without Raising Taxes, Protects Key Priorities for New Jerseyans

Amends Budget to Restrict Spending to Lower Levels than FY2008 and FY2009 Budgets, Provides Sound $600 Million Surplus

For Immediate Release                                                                Contact: Michael Drewniak

Friday, June 29, 2012                                                              Kevin Roberts609-777-2600

Trenton, NJ – For the third year in a row, Governor Chris Christie today signed into law a constitutionally balanced budget that delivers on key priorities for the people of New Jersey without raising taxes. The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget as enacted spends $31.7 billion, which is lower than the Governor’s originally proposed budget as delivered in February 2012 and lower than the budget passed by the Legislature. This year’s budget continues the return to fiscal discipline and controlled spending, while focusing on funding critical priorities that speak to the needs of all New Jerseyans. The Fiscal Year 2013 Budget is smaller than both fiscal years 2008 and 2009, while still increasing aid to schools to the highest level of state spending on K-12 education in the state’s history.  

Governor Christie said, “The budget the Legislature sent me violated two core priorities of this Administration – it denied tax relief to our hard working, middle-class families while proposing an $800 million tax increase and rejected fiscal responsibility by including millions in new spending that threatened to undo the hard won progress of the last two years. I am unwilling to surrender the gains we have made to establish fiscal responsibility in the state budget by raising taxes on our people at a time when they need and deserve tax relief. The budget I am signing today reverses irresponsible funding decisions, establishes funding levels based on realistic and responsible revenue assumptions, and increases our surplus to a healthy level that paves the way for continued economic growth.”


“The revised budget I signed today would continue to fuel the New Jersey Comeback if it included immediate tax cuts for New Jerseyans. After two hard years of shared sacrifice we’re no longer on the brink of fiscal catastrophe. Because of the tough and difficult choices we’ve made, this year’s budget allows us to make an unprecedented commitment to education, make one of the largest pension payments in our state’s history and fund critical programs that protect our most vulnerable,” said Governor Christie

Governor Christie put Corzine Democrats on their heels by vetoing $361 million in unnecessary or unsupported spending that threatened to reverse the renewed fiscal health, economic growth and investment of the last two years. In addition to piling on new spending in the budget, Corzine Democrats tried to circumvent the tough choices required to meet a balanced budget by passing additional spending bills outside of the process. As Governor Christie has repeatedly said, spending needs to be accounted for as part of a comprehensive budget plan.  

“This spending as usual is just more of the same mentality that plagued the eight years before I became Governor when there was reckless spending and a cycle of raising taxes and fees every 25 days. We cannot go back to the old way of doing things which got us into a fiscal mess in the first place. Corzine Democrats need to realize that they cannot add millions of dollars in spending outside of the budget when every homeowner, student or family faced with financial choices is spending within their budget,” said Governor Christie.

As a result of Governor Christie’s actions, the budget signed into law today maintains a sound, responsible surplus of over $600 million – more than double the Fiscal Year 2013 projected ending fund balance from the Governor’s originally proposed budget and exceeds the levels in the budget as passed by the Legislature. This sound surplus and the fact that the Administration aggressively manages government throughout the year is a signal that the state’s fiscal health is on strong footing.

“Thanks to New Jersey’s healthy surplus, our aggressive fiscal management and a continued commitment to spending restraint, we can afford a tax cut and we must provide relief to middle-class New Jerseyans. Now is the time to give back and ensure our families can share in the benefit of the New Jersey Comeback,” Governor Christie said.

Over the last 12 months, economic activity in New Jersey has grown by 3 percent, while seeing the largest single monthly job gain, overall and in the private sector, in seven years. Last month, New Jersey jobs grew by 17,600 in total, showing job growth in eight of the last nine months. Since February 2010, total private sector job growth in New Jersey is now at 84,900. In fact, 2011 was the best year of private sector job growth New Jersey has seen since 2001 and 2012 is already on pace to be even stronger.

“The choices we’ve made together over the last two years have laid the groundwork for the New Jersey Comeback and are finally delivering on a promise of all that our state can accomplish. After closing a combined $13 billion in deficits without raising taxes, implementing landmark, bipartisan pension and benefits reform and addressing the burden of property taxes so that homeowners saw the smallest increase in property taxes in nearly two decades last year, now is the time to accelerate the Comeback, not reverse course. 

“This budget is a critical step to keep our state moving in the right direction and, when coupled with a much needed tax cut, will send a signal that we are rooting for New Jersey. We are going to fight for critical tax relief for middle-class families, continue the course of fiscal discipline and responsible budgeting and send a loud signal to people, businesses and innovators that we want them to join us in the New Jersey Comeback.  While Corzine Democrats continue to hold tax relief hostage, I will not stop fighting until New Jersey gets the tax cut it deserves,” concluded Governor Christie.

 Governor Christie’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Delivers on Key Priorities:

·      Increasing state aid to schools for the second year in a row by $199.2 million for the highest level of state spending on education in New Jersey history of $8.87 billion, making total overall school aid over 1/3 of the total budget;

·       Making one of the largest payments into the pension system in state history of $1.03 billion;

·       Providing $347 million in job-creating business tax cuts and incentives;

·       Funding $393 million in student financial assistance – the highest total ever

·       Protecting $986 million in aid for New Jersey hospitals;

·       Increasing funding for placement services for individuals with developmental disabilities by $34.4 million;

·       Including an additional $2.5 million in funding for the Governor’s initiative to establish a mandatory drug court for nonviolent offenders;

·       Expanding Veterans Haven with $3.5 million to establish Veterans Haven North, providing housing and mental health services to in-need veterans;

·      Increasing state support for nursing homes by $15 million over Fiscal Year 2012;


·       Providing funding for children’s programs including New Jersey After 3 ($750,000) and $1 million in grant funding for after school and summer activity programs;


·       Taking care of those in need with a $2 million increase above the funding proposed in February for transportation assistance benefitting senior citizens and disabled residents;


·       Increasing funding for the NJCEED program by $3.5 million, bringing total program funding over $9 million, while also providing an additional $1 million for cancer research;


·      Assisting lower income New Jerseyans with $600,000 for clinical legal programs for the poor at Rutgers Camden and Newark law schools and Seton Hall;and


·       Creating a new scholarship program to provide students in New Jersey’s urban communities the opportunities they need to succeed. The Governor’s Urban Scholarship program is funded with $1 million.

Full language of budget modifications and vetoes can be found as PDF attachments to this release


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608