Sue Altman, Director of NJ Working Families issued the following statement:
Today in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, S2020, the FY2020 Budget bill – which directs $38.8 Billion in spending- was passed with no opposition. Two Republicans abstained- on the basis they had not had enough time to review the proposal.
The Senate hearing began at 2pm. Voting took place soon thereafter. The bill was not made available to the public until after the vote and was not posted online until after 4pm.
This is a farce of democracy. The residents of New Jersey deserve to know what’s in the budget before legislators vote on it so they can provide suitable public testimony and that legislators can take input into consideration before voting. THAT IS HOW THIS IS SUPPOSED TO WORK.
Scheduling a final vote on a budget within three days of it being introduced is irresponsible and leads to bad outcomes. It is no wonder that with processes like these in the Legislature, that New Jersey’s fiscal health is in dire straits.
This is yet another example of how we need a better democracy in New Jersey. The residents of the Garden State deserve better than what the Legislature did today.