Did Corzine make good on his budget promises?
Gov. Jon S. Corzine offered early retirement to more than 2,000 state workers in the first step toward implementing the recently approved budget deal.
Four months ago in his budget address, Corzine promised to eliminate 3,000 state jobs. The early retirement package signed into law will only cut an estimated 2,100 jobs, but the promise to eliminate 90 percent of those positions is clear.
"We are really reprioritizing how government works," Corzine says.
Meanwhile, during his budget address Corzine said he would eliminate defined budget pensions for part-time workers. However, under the new budget the definition of 'part time' was watered down. Originally, it was anyone who worked less than 30 hours a week. Now, the definition is anyone making $7,500 a year or more gets to keep their state pension.
The debate of the budget dragged on into the night Monday, but in the end lawmakers decided as long as some sort of reform is done, it's better than no reform.
The budget includes a spending cut of $500 million. However, the state will now borrow almost $4 billion for new schools.
Corzine has until July 1 to sign the budget, and he is expected to do so.
NJ Assembly, Senate OK cost-cutting budget