Assembly Budget Boss Has Questions And Wants Answers [AUDIO]
The annual budget break for the legislature is upon us, but Assembly Budget Committee chairman, Vinnie Prieto has plenty of questions for cabinet commissioners in the Christie Administration, who will be coming before him to testify over the next several months.
Townsquare Media was recently the first to report that Governor Chris Christie's Fiscal Year 2014 State Budget plan includes eliminating $1 million in funding for the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research. Prieto promises he'll be asking about that.
"Cancer funding has been cut," explains Prieto. "We would like to know why. I think that's near and dear to everybody's heart. That's a sickness that has touched everybody's lives…..I think that's a high priority to make sure that funding is in there."
Revenue collections have not matched the Governor estimates. It is possible that they could before the Fiscal Year ends on June 30th, but Prieto wants Department heads to be ready with contingency plans.
"We want to see as we're going into this budget cycle what's projected for them to do if we would need to have cuts," explains Prieto. "We going to ask them to come with what their ideas are in every way, shape and form. If they think that they need to have cuts, what will those be?"
Prieto also says property taxes will be a focal point in his line of questioning. He wants to know why Christie wants to delay rebates until August. He knows recovering and rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy will be a focus for Administration officials. He says that is very important, but he wants to talk about all New Jersey issues.
"With these tough fiscal times it is very hard to move mountains at this point in time," explains the chairman. "We'll be mindful of that and do the right thing for the people of the State of New Jersey."