TRENTON, N.J. – Yesterday, the state Assembly passed a bond act authorizing the borrowing of at least $14 billion. In the bill is a provision that would allow the state to levy a surcharge on property taxes. The bill passed along party lines.
“Assembly Democrats seem pretty confident in the state’s ability to pay back a nine-billion dollar loan in three years. I think they’re delusional,” said Bergen (R-Morris). “We have not made a full pension payment since 1995 and have never fully funded the school funding formula. To think that the state would magically become fiscally responsible enough to handle our obligations is unrealistic.”
Senator Steve Sweeney is now faced with the decision of whether or not to post this bill for a vote in the Senate. The Senate has not introduced the bill.
Following the passage of the bond act in the Assembly the governor announced a new extension of the State of Emergency until July 5.
“The governor has no incentive not to extend the State of Emergency. He has complete power to rule by executive order. I have introduced a bill, A4147, which would put a check on this power, but Speaker Coughlin refuses to put it up for a vote,” said Bergen.
Bergen introduced A4147 on May 11. The state Senate introduced the identical S-2482; between both bills, there are 28 sponsors. Senator Sweeney has agreed to put the bill up for a vote in the Senate if Speaker Coughlin will do the same in the Assembly.
“The Assembly Democrats want to borrow money because of a shortage in revenue. We can fix our revenue problem and ignite our economy now by allowing our businesses to get back to work. Borrowing money and mortgaging our future is a cop-out,” concluded Bergen.