Sources: Schaer mulls signing onto Rutgers letter

Influential Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36), vice chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, could sign onto a letter drafted by nine members of the Democratic caucus who won’t back the $31.7 billion budget until they get an assurance from leadership to shelve the state’s higher education plan until after the November election, sources tell PolitickerNJ.com.

First reported yesterday by PolitickerNJ.com, the heel dig-in against the higher ed deal, including a controversial disintegration of Rutgers University into Rowan University – features a squad of anti-establishment Dems led by former Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan (D-20). 

Like that group, sources say that Schaer has worries about a fast-tracked university merger without the benefit of details. From his place on the budget committee this morning, he is considering signing the Cryan team’s letter, which he apparently has not yet seen.

But Schaer also has questions about affixing his signature to a letter without knowledge of a pragmatic budget endgame, sources say.

The representative of an urban city, the Passaic lawmaker does not want to embrace a halt to the merger and then encounter cuts in the budget that would impact his city as a result of such a deal, sources say.