April 2005 Volume 1, Issue 1


gitensteinActing Governor Richard J. Codey delivered his budget address to the New Jersey Legislature on March 1, 2005, outlining a spending plan for fiscal year 2006 that calls for $27.4 billion in expenditures—$614 million less than in fiscal 2005.The austere proposal would provide flat funding for most of the state’s higher education community. None of New Jersey’s 12 senior public institutions are currently slated for an increase in operational aid, and, under Codey’s plan, support for The College of New Jersey will remain at $38.6 million.

With the state facing an estimated deficit of approximately $4 billion, Codey called for the suspension of the NJ SAVER tax rebate program, a slight cut in municipal aid, and a marginal increase in local school funding during his speech.TCNJ President R. Barbara Gitenstein noted that, while disappointing, the absence of a significant investment in higher education was not surprising. “New Jersey is losing talented students to other states, and that weakens the economy of our entire region,” Gitenstein explained.“We need to provide more opportunities and continuously improve our programs and facilities if we are to adequately serve state residents. Given New Jersey’s current financial picture, however, I understand that increased state support is not available right now.”

"New Jersey is losing talented students to other states, and that weakens the economy of our entire region."
R. Barbara Gitenstein, TCNJ President

One positive to come out of Codey’s address was a suggested increase of $11.1 million in student financial assistance programs. “New Jersey’s higher education system is a vital resource, and while revenues do not allow us increase operational funding at this time, we are pleased to maintain our current investment in most institutions while increasing support for student aid programs,” State Treasurer John McCormac explained.

The governor’s proposed fiscal 2006 budget will be debated and amended by the state Legislature throughout the spring, with the final version slated to be adopted sometime prior to July 1, 2005.

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