Applauding Gov. Chris Christie’s efforts to close a $10.7 billion budget gap, state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) said it’s not a question of being positive or negative.
“He’s doing the right thing,” said Pennacchio. “This is medicine the doctor has to give us. Everyone knew patient was on life support.”
The Morris County senator conceded the proposed cuts to muncipal and school aid coupled with a cap on local spending create pressure for mayors and governing bodies, but “raising taxes shouldn’t be an option. They’ll have to take a hard look at creating more austerity in their budgets.”
“Look,” Pennacchio added, “the governor said, ‘we’re going to give you the tools you need – changing binding arbitration rules and giving school boards a little more teeth.’ That said, it’s not very easy, and I sympathasize with the mayors.
Running for re-election this year, Morris County Freeholder Jack Schrier added of Christie, “I support the governor’s agenda. If he doesn’t do something non-traditional, he’s going to be the same old, same old. When he was a freeholder in Morris County, he was pretty heavy-handed, and it turned out several of his changes were good.”