Funds included for education, health and security
N.J. - Demonstrating his commitment to protecting New Jersey's hard
working families, Governor James E. McGreevey today proposed a
balanced FY03 budget that improves education, health and security and
eliminates a $5.3 billion deficit without raising sales or income
budget sets forth a fair and equitable blueprint for New Jersey's
future," McGreevey said. "Even in hard times, a budget must be driven
by the right priorities and the right values."
the highlights of the budget are:
Investing $10 million, the first part of a $40 million four-year
literacy initiative for reading coaches in schools and other
programs to ensure all third graders can read at or above grade
Protecting state aid to schools and providing additional support for
the state's multi-billion dollar school construction program.
Supporting partnerships with businesses to establish career
academies to train the workforce of the future.
Funding to provide every child with a solid beginning at the
Investing in character education, teacher mentoring and teacher
Safety and Security
$9.6 million for the Office of Counter Terrorism to develop and
implement a comprehensive strategy to prevent and mitigate terrorist
attacks in New Jersey, and to serve as a liaison with federal and
local law enforcement agencies.
first installment in a $100 million commitment for new law
$1.8 million in funding to equip a temporary lab for anthrax and
other potential bio-terrorism agents.
Ensuring that New Jersey's hospitals and emergency services are
equipped to respond to terrorist health threats by focusing on
bio-terrorism, hazardous materials, surveillance, and critical
Providing $28 million for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, which
will help make the institute one of the premiere cancer research
facilities in the nation.
Allocating $500,000 for the Cancer Cluster Task Force to investigate
cancer clusters such as the one under investigation in Toms River.
Hosting an international conference to highlight new developments in
cancer research and treatment.
Protecting the PAAD program, which helps senior citizens and the
disabled pay for medical prescriptions.
proposed FY03 budget of $23.63 billion is 1.5 percent or $343 million
more than the adjusted FY02 appropriation level of $23.32 billion. The
increase is significantly less than the 6.5 percent growth proposed in
the FY 2002 budget and is 75 percent less than the 5.9 percent average
annual growth rate of the past 20 years.
budget calls for five percent across-the-board reductions at all State
agencies; a reduction of 1,000 state jobs through early retirement,
attrition and, if necessary, layoffs; restructuring of the Department
of Education to reduce bureaucracy and improve efficiency, and
consolidation of programs and agencies, such as New Jersey's three
toll road authorities.
proposal protects property tax relief programs such as NJ Saver, the
Homestead Rebate and the Property Tax Reimbursement (Freeze) Program
for seniors, and it maintains state aid to schools and local
governments at FY02 levels.
refusing to cut state aid by even one cent, we are affirming our
commitment to improve the schools and communities of our state,"
budget also provides for a 50-cent per pack increase in the cigarette
tax to discourage smoking and establishes a more equitable tax
structure by ensuring that corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
are restoring the integrity of the corporate income tax by eliminating
loopholes and gimmicks that have allowed some companies to shirk their
responsibilities," McGreevey said.
the 50 companies with the largest payrolls in New Jersey, 30 of them
paid only the minimum corporate tax of $200 last year," he said. "A
single parent earning $25,000 a year pays more than that in income
taxes each year. This is unacceptable."
proposal also calls for restoration of the Public Advocate to serve as
the people's watchdog in Trenton and hold government accountable on
insurance rates, utility costs and other public issues.
budget is a road map that will lead us to a stronger New Jersey,"
McGreevey said. "Now, we must work in partnership with lawmakers on
both sides of the aisle as well as with our citizens and the public
sector to build prosperity and opportunity for all citizens of our