Assembly passes set of budget reform bills

The set of budget reform bills Democratic leaders held a press conference to raise awareness for passed through the general Assembly moments ago.

The legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto (D-32), Budget Chairman Gary Shaer (D-36) and others, would establish in part a joint executive and legislative advisory board to more “reliably” forecast revenues (A4326). It would also require the governor to provide details for any significant revenue measures in his or her initial budget address (A3311), require a biannual audit of state tax expenditures (A660), and impose new disclosure requirements on the State Economic Development Authority (A939).

Proponents of the reforms called for the bills’ passages this morning — as well as for Gov. Chris Christie’s support, who they slammed for failing to uphold the promise of “fiscal responsibility” he made when he took office in 2011.

“This legislation is about making sure our state restores its fiscal standing so that we can attract businesses and put New Jersey residents back to work,” said Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-38), one of the bill’s sponsors, in a statement. “A better financial status starts with a better budget process, and making sure that the public can keep elected officials accountable in that regards is an important means of improvement.”

Assembly passes set of budget reform bills