I was scheduled to serve my first day of Jury Duty today but since New Jersey is closed for business due to a budget crisis I am here with you instead.
The Soap Opera
that has become “The Great New Jersey State Tax Debate” where Governor
Corzine wants a one cent sales tax increase while his fellow South
Jersey Democrats refuse to support any sales tax increase whatsoever.
The result of the stalemate is Democrat eating Democrat and the gory
aftermath is unappetizing:
Roughly 45,000 employees
— more than half the state work force — will again stay home.
Thousands of visitors will be turned away from state-run beaches and
parks. Construction crews, motor vehicle services, racetracks and the
lottery have been idled. And Atlantic City’s 12 casinos will face the
gravest financial threat in their history, forced to shutter their
doors in the heart of their busy season.
The casinos lost yet another legal bid to keep operating even
if state casino commission inspectors are furloughed.
The stalemate stems from a $1.1 billion shortfall in a proposed $31
billion spending plan. New Jersey’s constitution requires the
Legislature to pass a balanced budget by July 1. Corzine wants to
generate the revenue by raising the 6 percent state sales tax to 7
percent. Roberts has argued for a mix of other taxes and spending cuts.
The budget crisis goes beyond the eager dispensation of justice and the
collection of lottery winnings and the loss of gambled life savings in
The budget crisis also threatens the welfare of the ordinary sickly and the community needy:
The UMDNJ Board of Trustees approved a resolution this week
which will provide for bridge funding in the event a state budget is
not passed by the approaching deadline. This resolution, which supplies
funding through the month of July, was passed in order to ensure
continuity of operations for the University and Hospital.
relies on direct state appropriations for a number of its educational,
clinical, and research initiatives, as well as funding for charity care
delivered through University Hospital. Once state figures are released,
the University budget will be completed and presented for approval by
the Board at its July meeting.
Later today I’ll call the Hudson County Superior Court to see if New Jersey is open for business tomorrow or not.
If New Jersey is open, I’ll probably need to head over to that Big Box O’ Justice
as a sworn citizen to do my delayed duty.
If New Jersey is still closed, I’ll continue to mourn those state
workers who stand in the rain holding their lives in their hands while
the politicians continue to take food out of their mouths.