Senate President Richard Codey (D-Roseland) and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) say they will include the legislative branch in Gov. Jon S. Corzine's call for a two-day furlough of state employee salaries. Corzine wants employees to take one furlough day in May and another in June to help close the budget gap. They said they will also direct the Office of Legislative Services to furlough their employees, and will research the chances of doing the same thing for legislators and their staffs.
"If the Governor is calling for executive branch employees to make sacrifices, then we need to do our part as well," said Codey. "We recognize that these are extraordinary times and many employees in the private sector have taken much bigger hits. If this small sacrifice means the difference between some employees losing their jobs altogether, it will be well worth it.
"These are unprecedented times, so difficult decisions are needed to ensure New Jersey remains fiscally sound and is positioned to emerge strong from this global economic crisis," Roberts said. "Revenues are falling and we have a legal and moral obligation to balance our budget, so just as families are doing throughout New Jersey, we must find fiscally responsible ways to live within our means. We're helping lead by example by tightening our belts."
The Senate Republican leader, Thomas Kean,Jr., says he will join with Codey and Roberts.
"My staff members are no different than other state employees," said Kean. "The Senate Republican office will participate in a furlough program."