Greenwald: Budget updates in caucus Thursday

TRENTON – Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald said today that on Thursday in caucus lawmakers  will be briefed on progress made in budget talks.

“We’re at the same stage we are usually at,’’ said Greenwald, (D-6), Voorhees. “We’ve listened to our caucus members, we brought those issues to our legislative leaders, we’ve merged those ideas with ideas from the Senate. We will tomorrow start to brief caucus members on areas of agreement.’’

When asked if a millionaire’s tax is still on the table, Greenwald said, “It is like all issues, it remains a discussion point. It is a way to provide true property tax relief and stop catering to the one percent of the wealthiest.’’

At a town hall in Galloway today, Christie said that he would not consider a fiscal year 2013 budget without a tax cut plan.

But Greenwald said the governor is refusing to acknowledge the reality of revenue shortfalls and a sluggish economy.

“Everything is falling down around this governor and he’s incapable of recognizing he is protecting two-tenths of 1 percent of the population.’’

On whether budget discussions could possibly lead to a deadlock and a government shutdown on July 1, Greenwald said, “There is absolutely zero reason for it. There was zero reason for it the last time it happened.  There is no great divide where compromise can’t be reached.”

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver’s office said she would have no comment today regarding budget talks.

Greenwald: Budget updates in caucus Thursday