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Friday, June 29, 2007

Trimming the (overspending) tree

So Gov. Corzine did keep his promise to trim the annual "Christmas tree'' list of state budget add-ons inserted by individual legislators for largely parochial purposes. They added $66.8 million to the $33.5 billion budget and the governor used his line-item veto to reduce it by $10 million. Every dollar counts, especially in a debt-ridden state, but that $10 million is only three-hundredths of 1 percent of the total. He should have cut all $66.8 million, still just a tiny drop in the spending bucket, if for no other reason than to show the legislators and the public that all spending must be vetted through the budget hearing process, not just added on a whim.

What the governor's statement detailing his "Christmas tree'' reaction didn't include was the names of the legislators who inserted these goodies. The only way the state is going to end this wasteful practice is to expose the lawmakers who somehow believe that money put aside for their favored groups can meet the governor's criterion of statewide or regional impact. Sorry, but $1 million for the Montclair Board of Education's Minority Student Achievement Network or even the $50,000 for the Newark Bears Academic Scholarship Superstars don't qualify. "Outing'' legislators who put their home turf before the state's is one way to cleanse the Legislature of its chronic overspenders.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Benjamin, I agree with you; the lawmakers who are responsible should be exposed. NJ politics, maybe politics in general make it so no law abiding person in his or her right mind would ever want to become a politician. That leaves the door open for everyone else.

*** On a side note, Mr. Benjamin, I kow you asre one of the editors at the APP... I was just at another blog site in regard to the PNC Art Center, and someone wrote in and was able to use the "F" word and there was no screening for it.

I've been blogging here for a year, and when the IMUS story ran, the APP had screeners in which the blog entry had to be approved/accepted before it was entered.

So how did the "F" word get through? Is that now an acceptable word to use here? I hope not!

Please, anything you could do about tht would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Margaret

7:17 AM, July 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS - Forgive the spelling errors
M

7:36 AM, July 01, 2007  

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