Republican senators dismayed that Treasurer’s appearance before budget panel postponed

Two GOP senators expressed disappointment Monday that Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff’s appearance before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee was postponed.

“It is unprecedented that the testimony of the state Treasurer would be canceled on the opening day of the state budget season,’’ said Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco.

Bucco (R-25) was heard arguing with Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo after the postponement announcement was made.  Bucco demanded to know why the meeting had been canceled.

In the morning, the committee heard from David Rosen, chief of the Office of Legislative Services, but the committee announced that the hearing with the Treasurer was being postponed because Democratic Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo and Republican committee member Kevin O’toole had to attend an afternoon reapportionment committee meeting.

Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate budget committee, said, “Only with information from all of the parties involved in the budget process can the Legislature craft a fiscally responsible budget that provides critical services at the least cost to the long-suffering taxpayers of the state.”

Quietly, some Republicans accused Sarlo of playing politics with the testimony and questioned why vice-chairman Sen. Brian Stack couldn’t handle the committee while Sarlo attended the redistricting meetings.  One GOP source wondered privately whether Sarlo was reluctant to leave the committee in the hands of Stack, who though he is a Democrat is an ally of Gov. Chris Christie.

Both Rosen and the Treasurer are scheduled to appear Tuesday before the Assembly budget panel.

The Treasurer’s appearance before the Senate committee is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.

Republican senators dismayed that Treasurer’s appearance before budget panel postponed