A Closer Look at New Jersey’s $31.7 Billion Spending Plan
Governor Chris Christie signed into law a constitutionally balanced budget that delivers on key priorities without raising taxes.
Here’s a detailed look at what the $31.7 billion spending plan includes (Information from the Governor’s Office):
*One Of The Largest Pension Payments In State History: Following last year’s historic, bipartisan pension and benefits reform, Governor Christie will make one of the largest payments into New Jersey’s pension system in state history: $1.03 billion.
*Job-Creating Business Tax Cuts: The fiscal year 2013 budget provides $347 million in business tax relief, the second year of bipartisan, job-creating business tax cuts and tax policy. These reforms were crafted with input from job creators around the state, who have stressed the need for tax reforms to increase the state’s competitiveness, improve the business climate and create Jersey Jobs.
*Maintaining A Fiscally Responsible Surplus: The budget signed into law today maintains a sound, responsible surplus of over $600 million – more than double the Fiscal Year 2013 projected ending fund balance from the Governor’s originally proposed budget and exceeding the levels in the budget as passed by the Legislature.
*Vetoing Wasteful Spending: Governor Christie put Corzine Democrats on their heels by vetoing a combined $361 million in spending that represented a step backwards and jeopardizes the renewed fiscal health, economic growth and investment of the last two years.
*The Largest Appropriation Of State Education Aid In New Jersey History: Governor Christie increased state aid to schools for the second year in a row by $199 million, for the highest level of state spending on education in New Jersey history of $8.87 billion, making total overall school aid over 1/3 of the entire budget.
*Greater Support For New Jersey’s Higher Education System And Students: Governor Christie’s fiscal year 2013 budget provided $88 million in increased State support for institutions of higher education and student assistance. Total State support will increase to $2.05 billion. $58.3 Million Of The Additional Funding Goes Directly To The Twelve State Colleges And Research Institutions. Total State support for State colleges and research institutions is increasing by 4.3% to almost $1.4 billion, supporting day-to-day operations and paying for the cost of employee fringe benefits.
*Expands Opportunities For Students With $393.2 Million In Financial Assistance: Governor Christie’s budget increased financial support for students attending in-state institutions to an all-time high.
*The Governor’s Urban Scholarship Program: In March, acting on his commitment to help provide students in New Jersey’s inner cities and urban communities the opportunity and resources they need to pursue higher educational opportunities they have earned, Governor Christie unveiled the $1 million Governor’s Urban Scholarship Program.
*Increased Funding For After-School Programs: The budget is providing funding for children’s programs including $750,000 for New Jersey After 3 and $1 million in grant funding for after school and summer activity programs
*Funding New Jersey’s Hospitals: Despite economic challenges facing the state, hospital funding will be maintained at the enhanced fiscal year 2012 level. A total of $986 million has been provided in the fiscal year 2013 budget for hospital funding through Charity Care, Graduate Medical Education support and Hospital Relief Subsidy Fund.
*Increased Funding For Nursing Homes: Governor Christie is increasing state funding for nursing home reimbursements by $15 million over fiscal year 2012. Combined with federal matching funds, this represents $30 million in additional resources available.
*Increasing Access To Health Centers: Governor Christie is increasing funding for Health Centers in fiscal year 2013 by $3.6 million. The Christie Administration is supporting FQHCs with $50 million in reimbursement for providing care to the uninsured—a record high.
*Increased Funding To NJCEED: The New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) Program provides cancer outreach, education, screening, tracking and follow-up services to individuals 18-64 with incomes of up to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. Governor Christie is increasing state funding to more than $9 million so it can continue to serve New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.
*Providing Increased Funding For Childcare For New Jerseyans Transitioning To Work: Under Workfirst NJ, the budget is increasing State and federal funding by $5 million for subsidized child care for eligible families regardless of where the child resides.
*Giving Families the Tools to Succeed: Family Success Centers are community-based grassroots organizations that provide services ranging from basic needs like day care and parenting classes, to more complex needs such as accessing mental health support, domestic violence prevention and substance abuse services.
*Expanded Veterans Haven Program: The Christie Administration is reinvesting existing resources to expand the Veterans Haven program run by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA). Startup funds for the project total $3.5 million. With federal funding through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this will allow DMAVA to provide housing, health services and social and vocational rehabilitation to approximately 50 homeless veterans.
*Increased Funding For Placement Services For Individuals With Developmental Disabilities: The fiscal year 2013 budget provides $34.4 million of new funding to develop additional community placements and services for individuals with developmental disabilities, allowing for 130 people to move off of the Community Services Waiting List, and individuals and families to receive necessary residential and day services.
*Expanding The Drug Court Program For Non-Violent Drug Offenders: Governor Christie firmly believes that no life is disposable and the budget provides $2.5 million for an expansion of the drug court program for non-violent drug offenders, because everyone deserves a second chance.
*Creating A Division That Focuses Exclusively On Care For The Whole Child: This year’s budget reaffirms Governor Christie’s commitment to a fundamental rethinking of how individuals with developmental disabilities receive services. The creation of the Division of Child Integrated System of Care Services within DCF will more holistically address the needs and concerns of families with children with developmental disabilities and other complex needs in one place.
*Strengthening Women’s Services: The newly created Division on Women within the Department of Children and Families will enhance the network of community supports as well as creating a continuity of services and programs developed for women.
*Taking Care Of New Jersey’s Seniors: Governor Christie’s reforms are providing a new vision for providing integrated and holistic care for seniors with the creation of the Division of Aging Services in the Department of Human Services. This new Division will be better able to link all necessary supports and services by providing a single point of access, including long-term supports and community-based services.
*Sharpening The Focus On Health: To ensure dollars are going where they are needed, all hospital funding programs will be directed through the Department of Health. This common sense step will ensure the State’s budget supports hospitals most in need.
*Focusing on Tourism with a New Role for the NJSEA: As part of the Christie Administration’s effort to improve marketing and outreach efforts to attract businesses to New Jersey, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will operate statewide as the lead agency to facilitate and attract major sports and entertainment events.
***Information provided by The Governor’s Office