TRENTON – Sounding a bit like former President Ronald Reagan, Assemblyman Gary Chiusano, (R-23), of Sparta, asked Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff the following question at Thursday’s budget hearing.
“Is our state in a better position than 18 months ago?”
“We are better with respect to our fiscal condition,” the treasurer said.
“The economy is improving, revenues have stabilized. The governor’s actions in restraining spending and control over the state budget have had beneficial impact. Government as an entity is improving. We have a long way to go, but we’re making substantial progress.”
He said the big difference now is the state is starting to address such “structural impediments” like health benefits reform and pensions, both of which are woefully underfunded and the major cruxes of the state’s budget problems.
“There’s a greater willingness to deal with these major issues than there might have been a year and half ago,” he said.