Corzine proposes $2.7B in tough cuts to balance budget

Gov. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) delivered a somber budget address to the Legislature Tuesday that included sweeping cuts in an effort to get New Jersey's finances out of the red.

Corzine's $33 billion spending plan for the 2008-2009 fiscal year includes $2.7 billion in cuts. The proposal calls for the elimination of the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Personnel and the Commerce Commission. About 3,000 jobs would also be cut.The governor also called for reduced tax rebates and the complete elimination of tax rebates for families making $150,000 a year or more.

Aid for hospitals, colleges and municipalities would also be reduced.

While some fellow Democrats praised the governor's "tough love" approach, some Republicans said Corzine didn't go far enough.

"What he should have done is warn the Democratic majority, 'I'm not going to sign this budget if it contains $1 more than I proposed,'" said state Sen. Kevin O'Toole (R-40th District).

Republican State Committee Chairman Tom Wilson said after the address that Republicans have spent the last six years calling for cuts. According to Wilson, Democratic spending has put the state in its current situation.

Lawmakers have the next three months to pass a budget.

Click here for team coverage on local reaction.

For Corzine's budget address, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

Complete text of Corzine's speech

Budget in brief summary

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