Pennacchio expectant of governor’s budget cuts

TRENTON – Republicans expect Gov. Chris Christie to stand by his promise to hack a $31.7 billion budget when Democratic legislators present him with the document at the end of scheduled floor sessions this week and as early as tonight.

“I urge him to cut $180 million to deliver a ten percent tax cut,” said state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-26). “We were promised a tax cut – the Democrats promised a tax cut.”

A member of the Senate budget committee who last week voted with his party against delivering the budget out of committee, Pennacchio said he does not know where Christie will cut, but he noted several areas he said are prime for the governor’s red pen.

“There have been a lot of increases over the last year in higher education money,” said the GOP senator. “I would like to see the education budget really looked at. I would like the school lunch program examined to make sure you don’t have (administrators) abusing it, and I would like to see an examination of means testing of the state’s pre-K program.”