Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New Jersey 2007 State Budget - First Impressions

I've just finished reading Governor Corzine's Budget in Brief. I'm putting together some thoughts on specific issues, but wanted to point out something I think is missing.

How many people does the state employ? How many people are currently eligible for state-funded pensions? What has been the change in those numbers over the last several years?

I cannot find these basic facts anywhere in the Budget. Since "mandatory" increases in wages and benefits are driving a large percentage of the higher spending each year, I think it's important for the taxpayers to be provided with this information. The governor tells us in the highlights:

Reduction of more than 1,000 staff positions with accompanying savings of $54 million through a rigorous hiring freeze, administrative efficiencies and responsible reorganization of select government functions. Limiting the filling of attrited vacancies will yield opportunities to not only control government growth but also to do more with less by enhancing management efficiencies and streamlining services
What he's not telling us is how much of an impact this "reduction" will have on the overall budget. I find it hard to believe that the average government employee only costs the state $54,000 per year.

I will follow with more questions later. In the meantime, stop in to see Enlighten New Jersey, Dynamobuzz, NJ Fiscal Folly, and NJ Conservative for more interesting commentary.

Tags: New Jersey, Taxes, Spending, Corzine