Morning News Digest: March 11, 2009

Governor’s budget would eliminate property tax deductions, rebates

Gov. Jon Corzine’s budget would eliminate property tax deductions on state income taxes next year, raising about $420 million to help balance the painful spending plan. But for middle-class New Jerseyans who would also lose their property tax rebates, the missing deduction could pack an extra punch. (Heininger and Reitmeyer, Star-Ledger)

Corzine’s budget takes political risks in an election year

Election Day is still eight months away, but the series of tax proposals the governor offered today could very well stick in the minds of voters as they decide whether to give him a second term. (Margolin, Star-Ledger)

Poll: NJ residents split on rebates, furloughs

TRENTON, N.J. – Half the voters in a new poll support cutting property tax rebates for nearly all New Jerseyans, and half are opposed. The Quinnipiac University Poll out Wednesday was taken before Gov. Jon S. Corzine proposed saving $500 million by eliminating rebates to residents earning more than $75,000 a year. Rebates to seniors and the disabled would be spared. (AP)

Corzine won’t ‘balance budget on backs of people who have been caught in riptide of this economic tsunami’

TRENTON – Dogged about preserving Democratic values in his budget but also grimly cognizant of a national recession, Gov. Jon Corzine proposed his $29.8 billion budget today before a joint session of the legislature. “The budget is $1 billion less than it was in 2006 (Corzine’s first budget as governor),” the governor told the crowd packed in the Assembly chamber. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Fisher to run for assembly in District 38

Fort Lee Republican activist Judith Fisher dropped her candidacy for Bergen County freeholder yesterday, instead choosing to run for assembly in the 38th Legislative District. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Corzine: Recession forces difficult budget choices

Gov. Jon Corzine today proposed a $29.8 billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year that raises an array of taxes, scales back property tax rebates and furloughs state workers in the face of a deep recession. “Make no mistake: Because of where the world is right now, we must move in directions we might not otherwise choose,” Corzine said. (Symons, Gannett)

Corzine calls for ‘choices we might not otherwise make’ in budget address TRENTON – Gov. Jon S. Corzine proposed a $29.8 billion budget Tuesday that would slash state spending by 9.4 percent but cushion the blow to the state’s most vulnerable residents, the governor said. “Even as we cut the government in unprecedented and historic amounts,” Corzine said in his budget address to both houses of the state Legislature, “we are doing so in the right way – the way that sustains our abiding commitment to those core values … nurturing our children, honoring our seniors and protecting the most vulnerable.” (Harper, Press of Atlantic City)

Locally, reaction to state budget is wary, but hopeful

Many will feel pain from the cuts outlined by Gov. Jon Corzine in his budget address on Tuesday, but there are some areas where funding was spared. Increased funding for schools, including an expansion of early childhood education programs, was touted by the governor. (McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)

Corzine delivers state budget, says cuts avert problems seen in other states

TRENTON Calling it a time of “unprecedented economic stress,” Gov. Jon S. Corzine introduced a budget Tuesday that cuts property tax rebates, increases taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and the wealthy, and calls for state workers to accept unpaid furloughs and wage freezes or face layoffs. (Graber, Gloucester County Times)

N.J. leaves mark on Senate bill The Senate sent President Obama a $410 billion bill Tuesday that keeps the government operating through September and provides more than $310 million in special projects and grants added by members of Congress from New Jersey. (Jackson, Record)

Get ready to set place for Corzine at kitchen table

Don’t be surprised to come home from work in the next couple of weeks and find Governor Corzine at your kitchen table. He might even offer you a beer — one of the few vices Corzine did not raises taxes on this year. The kitchen nook, if Corzine’s speech was any indication, is the heart of the middle-class home, which also makes it the center of Corzine’s political universe. (Stile, Record)

Corzine delivers budget address

TRENTON — New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine proposed an austere budget today that slices property tax rebates, calls for state worker furloughs and a wage freeze to avoid layoffs, and imposes new taxes on businesses to prop up the unemployment insurance fund. (AP)

N.J. high court to consider ex-state Sen.Wayne Bryant’s legal bills

New Jersey’s Supreme Court will decide whether convicted former state Sen. Wayne Bryant can use leftover campaign funds to pay his legal bills. The court published an order Tuesday granting certification. (AP)

Corzine’s 2009 budget would cut $5.2M in arts funding

Gov. Jon Corzine today proposed cutting arts funding to $17.1 million, a drop of $5.2 million that would reduce arts support to 2004 levels. In his budget address, the governor said the cuts were necessary to prevent closing hospitals or cutting senior prescription aid. (McGlone, Star-Ledger)

Ex-Assemblyman Neil Cohen admits viewing child porn, but pleads not guilty to charges

Though prosecutors say former Assemblyman Neil Cohen has admitted to viewing images of child pornography on computers in his law and legislative offices, the Union County Democrat pleaded not guilty today to the charges in the case that ended his public and private careers. (Spoto, Star-Ledger)

Corzine lays out wrenching budget

TRENTON – In a somber budget address yesterday, Gov. Corzine returned several times to the image of a New Jersey family sitting around the kitchen table, pencils and calculators in hand, struggling to balance the household budget. (Lu and Tamari, Inquirer)

Tax rebates out for many in N.J.

New Jersey had to do something to help fix its financial crisis. That was the wary acknowledgment by some South Jersey residents following yesterday’s announcement that property-tax rebates would be scaled back or eliminated for a large portion of the state’s households under Gov. Corzine’s budget proposal. (Rao, Inquirer)

Morning News Digest: March 11, 2009