Republicans criticize Corzine for refusal to reopen the budget

The entire Republican Assembly caucus sent a letter to Gov. Corzine today urging him to reconsider his reluctance to cut more out of the state budget to deal with the looming financial crisis.

Republicans earlier this week pressured Corzine to reopen the budget in light of the nation’s fiscal emergency, to which he responded that he did not see an immediate need to do so and would “take responsible action as the facts unfold."

Corzine’s office said the budget was put together prudently and may be able to withstand the economic downturn.

“We, the undersigned members of the Assembly Republican Caucus, implore you to reconsider your refusal to revisit the budget for the current fiscal year and find more cuts to compensate for the loss of tax revenue that will be the inevitable result of the calamity on Wall Street and the continued loss of jobs,” read the Repubicans’ letter.

DeCroce went on to point out that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Gov. David Paterson and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger all have made additional budget cuts.

“They recognize the need for swift action to deal with a real financial emergency. We trust that, upon further reflection, you will see the need for an immediate response as well. We ask that you call a special session of the Legislature to focus exclusively on the economy and how the current budget can be reduced. The consequences for taxpayers, if your administration fails to reopen the budget for review, could be catastrophic,” continued the letter. “Republicans have offered a common sense plan to make New Jersey affordable. We hope you will allow it to have a fair hearing.”

Corzine spokesman Robert Corrales reiterated the administration’s position that the budget had already taken the economic downturn into account.

“The Governor had the foresight to recognize that the national economy was in a downturn and he took unprecedented measures to ensure fiscal responsibility,” he said. “The Governor's budget contained a $2.9 billion reduction in spending, cut the operating budgets of every state department by an average of five percent and dedicated money to reduce State debt."

Republicans criticize Corzine for refusal to reopen the budget