Thursday, July 06, 2006

Budget deal?

From the Star-Ledger:
Senate President Richard Codey this afternoon said he expects a budget deal to be done by today, and Democrats say the Corzine administration is researching ways to get state government back in business and reopen casinos.

Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) were in a meeting with Corzine this afternoon.

Before going into the meeting at about 1:10 p.m. Roberts said: "We've had a very productive discussion"When asked if a resolution is at hand, Codey said: "I would say so."

Though no deal has been announced, a member of the Assembly Budget committee told The Star-Ledger that a budget containing a compromise offered by Corzine may face a vote in committee as early as later today. Floor votes could then follow.

What are the details? Well, it does include the 1% sales tax hike that Speaker Roberts had been opposed to:
Aides to the governor said Corzine has offered a new plan that would provide 50 percent of the sales tax increase to property tax relief each year if voters approve it in a constitutional amendment. Using a constitutional amendment would mean lawmakers would be forced to use half the sales tax for property tax relief even if there is a big budget crunch. Roberts had wanted 100 percent of the sales tax increase dedicated to property tax reform.

Several Democratic Assembly members who were in Roberts' camp said they were now willing to accept Corzine's proposal.

The Asbury Park Press has more.

It seems that the Democrats have finally agreed on their completely unnecessary tax hike. Good work, boys!

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