When you look at what is going on in New Jersey versus what is happening in NY State there is just no comparison.
In Albany, a 31-31 Senate deadlock has resulted in chaos, paralyzing key pieces of legislation like maintaining mayoral control of New York City schools.
While New Jersey has a had long and laborious process of approving the FY 2010 budget…and it did take the Senate until almost 11:00 pm on Thursday night to finally pass it, the work got done and it was completed several days ahead of the constitutional deadline. But perhaps most importantly, a spirited debate preceded passage.
Democrats are basically saying that this is the best and most responsible budget the state can produce given the unprecendented financial crisis and subsequent drop-off of tax revenues to the state.
Republicans counter that this budget relies on one-shot gimmicks ( like the federal stimulus money ) and raises taxes way beyond what any reasonable person would consider fair.
Liquor tax goes up. cigarette tax up. tax on businesses up. lottery winnings up. And those making more than 400k will also be paying more.
The two major parties can squabble over whether these were the best places to raise revenue but the bottom line is the budget is balanced and currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Democrats say government spending is the way to ignite the economy and get it back on track. Republicans say that will only grow the public sector instead of the private, and giving small businesses a break is the way initiate growth. It’s an age-old argument and like with everything, there is merit to both ideas.
Our coverage from last night is worth watching. particularly for lawmakers who took those arguments to the floor. Hey, it ain’t New York. At least in NJ they are still talking about the stuff that matters.