AMODEO AND POLISTINA: STATE CANNOT AFFORD ANOTHER SHUTDOWN

Impact on Casino Industry Would be Devastating

If New Jersey is forced to close its state-run facilities, such as the casinos in Atlantic City, it will cause even further harm to an economy that cannot afford another impact to its revenues stated Assemblymen Vincent Polistina and John Amodeo, both R-Atlantic. The state?s new fiscal year begins July 1, and recent news indicates the current revenue shortfall may be $2 billion less than projected.

Upon learning of the deepening fiscal crisis, Governor Jon Corzine said that although his administration has had contingency plans for months, he would wait until the release of the June 15th revenue numbers before revealing such details.

?I am bewildered by the governor?s decision to keep his revised budget proposal under wraps possibly until the middle of June,? said Polistina. ?That timing would leave the Legislature two weeks to approve a budget or face the prospect of shutting down the state. As we saw in 2006, that would have a devastating effect on commerce, especially in Atlantic City. If the governor has solutions to the multi-billion dollar deficit, he needs to disclose them now instead of leaving us with a small window to debate.?

According to State Senate President Richard Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, who attended a meeting with Governor Corzine on Monday, raising taxes, cutting property tax rebates, further reductions in municipal aid, and cutting aid to schools are all under consideration.

?As revenue updates continue to deliver bad news, we need to take a hard look at where spending will be cut in order to balance the budget,? stated Amodeo. ?The last thing people want to hear is that their jobs and wages will be impacted because a budget couldn?t be delivered on time. It is critical that any revised plans be disclosed as soon as possible.

?In South Jersey there will be a ripple effect not only on the casinos, but on other businesses whose survival depends on the success of that industry,? continued Amodeo. ?People, who have lost their jobs or have been furloughed, want to know what is being done to turn the economy around. If a balanced budget isn?t ready by June 30th, and a shutdown occurs, their despair will only increase.?

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