Corzine introduces budget, says day of reckoning has arrived

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Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ) told state leaders in Trenton the day of reckoning had arrived Tuesday with the introduction of his $30.9 billion budget plan.

Corzine introduced what are likely to be viewed as unpopular measures to deal with New Jersey's $4.5 billion budget shortfall. The proposed plan would increase the state's 6 percent sales tax and boost taxes on cigarettes and liquor. The plan would also impose new taxes on services provided by tanning salons, health spas, limousine operators and tattoo parlors.

The budget proposal contains deep spending cuts, including $169 million less for higher education. The proposal allows aid to schools and towns to remain at last year's level. Corzine also plans to cut 1,000 positions from the state government, including layoffs of more than 300 nonunion workers.

Republicans chimed in after Corzine's address, saying the budget will compound the already terrible burden placed on New Jersey taxpayers. Lawmakers will debate and amend Corzine's budget proposal for the next three months. A balanced budget must be enacted before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

Related Link:Budget Address 2006

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