Budget Statement: State Senator Anthony M. Bucco

State Senator Anthony M. Bucco released the following statement after the Senate passed the state budget for fiscal year 2022:

“With over $46 billion to spend, we can all find good things in the budget. The problem, however, is with what’s not in the budget.

“There is no meaningful long-term tax relief for our residents who face the highest property taxes in the country.

“There is no significant investment to revitalize our economy. Those aren’t my words, those are the words of the head of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce.

“There’s no meaningful debt repayment, despite Governor Murphy’s promise that the billions he borrowed would be repaid if the money wasn’t needed. Well, the money isn’t necessary and the best we have in the budget is a slush fund that could be used to pay off debt, but there is no guarantee.

“There is no significant investment to replace the outdated IT infrastructure that has led to long queues at MVC and thousands upon thousands of unpaid unemployment claims.

“And finally, there is no restoration of the millions of dollars that Governor Murphy is cutting from the three largest school districts in my district, which will result in the laying off of teachers or direct property tax increases on our residents.

“If there was ever a time to build a foundation for the years to come, it’s now. I’m afraid we’ll be back here next year with nothing to show for the tens of billions of dollars being spent.

Dorothy H. Lewis