TRENTON – In the immediate aftermath of the Senate passing a budget despite 10 Democrats withholding their votes from it, Budget Chairman Sen. Paul Sarlo, (D-36), Wood-Ridge, was clear that this budget was the best that could be obtained under the circumstances.
“There was not a lot of wiggle room,’’ he said after the upper chamber advanced the FY14 $32.9 billion budget by a 29-11 vote. Sen. Michael Doherty was the lone Republican opposing it.
Among Democrats voting no were Sens. Loretta Weinberg, Nellie Pou, Dick Codey, Shirley Turner and Barbara Buono.
But Sarlo said this budget was negotiated in a bipartisan fashion that recognized several realities.
“To run the risk of line-item vetoes, it was not worth it,’’ he said. “Nobody should declare this a victory,’’ he said, adding that he believes the budget relies on uncertain revenues, including the $160 million in affordable housing funds the administration wants to seize.
In addition, he said it pushes the Homestead tax rebate for residents into the next fiscal year, and it does not give schools all of the money they need, which was a major problem for some of the Democrats who voted no.