Top Reports: Experts Say Big Cuts Needed to Make State Fiscally Stable

John Reitmeyer | December 26, 2018 | Budget, Winter 2018
Senate President Steve Sweeney convened a nonpartisan group to examine New Jersey’s ledgers. They prescribed some harsh medicine, including cuts to public worker benefits

top report 2018
In this series, we’re highlighting important reports of relevance to the state’s problems and future for you to read while we at NJ Spotlight are on our annual winter break.

After a new federal tax law took away the deduction for state and local taxes that is coveted by many New Jersey residents, Senate President Steve Sweeney assembled a 25-member panel of fiscal policy experts to scrutinize state fiscal policies and search for ways to find new savings.

The group issued a report in August that called for sweeping policy changes. Among the proposals were public-worker benefits cuts, merging some school districts, and adding tolls to certain highways.

Ever since its release, Sweeney (D-Gloucester) has been meeting with local governments, editorial boards, and other groups throughout the state to make the case for adopting the nonpartisan group’s proposals.

But the recommendations have yet to advance in the Legislature, and many of the proposed changes — including the one calling for cuts in public-worker benefits — have drawn criticism from labor unions. Gov. Phil Murphy, a first-term Democrat, hasn’t embraced the proposals either. Instead, he has favored hiking taxes over enacting more dramatic policy changes as a way to ease New Jersey’s fiscal woes.

Follow this link for the “Path to Progress” report.

Follow this link for more Top Reports: Winter 2018.