1. #1
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    Default New Jersey Government to Shut Down

    John Corzine was elected on a pledge not to raise taxes. After taking office, he announced a financial plan that raised virutally every tax in the budget. As in most states, NJ has a constitutional requirement to have a blanced budget. The legislature presented such a budget. Corzine has refused to sign it if it did not include an increase in the sales tax. As a result, there is no budget in place as of today. Corzine will be signing an Executive Order at 9:30 AM to shut down the state government.

    New year, no budget: State government to shut down
    New Jersey entered a new budget year this morning with no spending plan in place, setting the stage for the first state government shutdown in its history. Meanwhile the dispute between the governor and lawmakers in his own party opposed to his sales tax plan has taken a bitter turn.

    Gov. Jon Corzine plans to sign an executive order at 9:30 this morning to begin a phased shut-down of nonessential state operations, including the Lottery, road construction projects and motor vehicle offices.

    Officials said Lottery sales would halt immediately, but it was not clear how quickly other operations would cease. State parks, beaches and campgrounds would remain open during the July 4th weekend, but could close next week if the stalemate continues. Essential functions such as State Police patrols would not be interrupted.

    In a last-ditch attempt to avert a shutdown, Corzine met for 45 minutes last night in his Statehouse office with Roberts and Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex). Emerging from the meeting, Roberts indicated negotiations would continue through the weekend. “We’re talking, and that’s a good thing,” he said.

    But a short while later he called a press conference in the balcony of the Assembly chamber and blasted the governor’s tactics, calling the shutdown plan “indefensible.”

    “Governor, we have no interest in having a gun placed to our head and passing a sales tax for a state budget that doesn’t need it. We urge this governor to retreat from the precipice and not push the state over the edge into the unchartered waters of a government shutdown,” Roberts said.

    Corzine’s chief of staff Tom Shea responded by saying any shutdown would be the result of “the failure of the Legislature to pass a balanced budget.

    “While the Assembly leadership is at the microphone grandstanding, the Governor is sitting at his desk waiting for a budget,” Shea said. He said Corzine stayed in his office until the midnight budget deadline had come and gone.

    Roberts has been leading opposition in the state Assembly to Corzine's plan for a penny-on-the-dollar increase in the sales tax. Corzine says the $1.1 billion it would raise is essential to balancing the budget, while Roberts says the governor has spurned viable alternatives.
    Amazing.

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    Ya know George, overall I like the American system of elections of fixed terms and set intervals, unlike the Parlimentary system where elections can occur pretty much at any time. I'm not even really a fan of term limits.

    But there is part of me that in this one situation -- when a Governor and Legislature can't pass a budget on time...they should be dissolved, a special election scheduled...and no incumbent is eligible for re-election.

    Go right ahead and play games with the budget boys

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    I know that in our small town residential garbage pick up has been reduced to one day a week because of taxes, the Mayor {who is not paid and is a bartender at Big Jack's}, refuses to raise taxes.

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    We're 5 people short, and the PD is 3 short. So of course, our little government entity decides to put a .25% income tax initiative on the ballot so they can hire more people for the Parks Department. We're bustin' our collective asses to do our jobs, sometimes responding with only a couple of people while everyone is tied up on other calls, but they want to raise taxes to hire more people to mow grass and build a bridge for a bike path. Go figure.
    Last edited by Steamer; 07-01-2006 at 03:42 PM.
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    I have always hated that SOB. Wish he didn't win!
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    Sire, we have news that the people are revolting!

    You said it -- they stink on ice! Revolting? Why, I love my people... PULL!!! BLAM!!! Fell like a stone...
    Proud member of the IACOJ.

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    I'd bet a year's pay that the people of New Jersey will re-elect this twit too.

    Voters have short memories.

    (My legal disclaimer is that I am not a betting man so none of you are getting my money.)

    P.S. This gives me another reason not to go up 95 when I go back to visit family. Why give the this maroon my money?
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    This Twit even wanted to add a Hospital bed tax and lower our speed limits back to 55.
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    I'd like to see the laws changed so that when politicians fail to get a budget passed they don't get paid until they do have a budget. Not hold their checks, they just get their pay docked from the time the budget was due until a budget is passed. Better yet fine them $1000 / day and suspend all their perks (no cars, no planes, no "interns" etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie
    I'd bet a year's pay that the people of New Jersey will re-elect this twit too.

    Voters have short memories.

    (My legal disclaimer is that I am not a betting man so none of you are getting my money.)

    P.S. This gives me another reason not to go up 95 when I go back to visit family. Why give the this maroon my money?
    Well, I suppose in a world where Ted Kennedy and John Kerry can get elected for terms ad infinitum, there is that possibility. But NJ voters sent Jim Florio packing after one term.

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    Wait until you see the stink that the casino industry puts up.

    Corzine shuts down N.J. government
    Budget impasse could affect parks, beaches, casinos

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Gov. Jon S. Corzine closed the state government Saturday amid a bitter dispute with fellow Democrats in the Assembly over his plan to increase the sales tax, threatening to shutter beaches, parks and possibly casinos in the coming days.

    After Saturday's constitutional deadline to adopt a new balanced budget passed without agreement, Corzine signed an executive order just after 9:30 a.m., a grim climax to weeks of budget squabbling among Democrats who control state government but haven't been able to agree on a budget bill.

    "It gives me no joy, no satisfaction, no sense of empowerment to do what I'm forced to do here," Corzine said.

    Within minutes of Corzine signing the order, road construction projects were required to begin winding down. Motor vehicle offices were to close at noon. About 45,000 state employees were immediately furloughed. State courts were closed for anything but emergencies.

    State parks, beaches and historic sites were expected to slowly close in the coming days, with all closed by Wednesday. Beaches were staying open through the July Fourth holiday, preventing a more dramatic effect on New Jerseyans' plans for the long weekend.

    All horse racing in the state was expected to conclude at 6 p.m.

    The order allows Corzine to keep 36,000 state employees working without pay. That will keep the state's prisons, veterans homes and psychiatric hospitals open. Child welfare, state property protection, transportation and environmental safety functions will also continue.

    Atlantic City's 12 casinos could be forced to close because they require state monitoring, though the casino industry is challenging that in court.

    July welfare checks have already been mailed, said Corzine's chief counsel, Stuart Rabner. But he said next month's cannot be sent unless a budget agreement is reached.

    The dispute centers on Corzine's determination to raise the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to help close a $4.5 billion budget deficit.

    Corzine sees the increase as a vital step toward providing reliable annual revenue, but most Democrats in the Assembly -- the lower house of the state Legislature -- and several Senate Democrats say the plan is unnecessary. Led by Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts Jr., D-Camden, they offered $741 million in spending cuts and $917 million in other tax hikes to avoid a sales tax increase, but Corzine rejected many of their ideas.

    Opponents have questioned the need for a sales tax increase, predicting voter backlash and demanding that any increase be reserved for property tax reform.

    Corzine complained that budget efforts "have not resulted in the sort of responsible plan the public has a right to expect."

    Still, Corzine accepted opponents' proposals for increased corporate taxes, increased tax revenue estimates. He killed hospital bed, alcohol and water taxes they opposed. Corzine also accepted a compromise to use half the money earned by a sales tax increase for property tax relief.

    Despite such maneuvering, Corzine on Saturday said both sides have "some very real, very basic and very challenging differences to resolve."

    No formal negotiations were scheduled for Saturday.

    "My door has been and remains open," Corzine said.

    The state constitution requires a balanced budget by July 1, but the deadline has been missed four times in five years. Nothing happened when deadlines were missed before because the state never went past the morning of July 2 without an adopted budget. Without one, the state has no authority to spend money.

    Corzine said the lack of any imminent agreement gave him no alternative.

    Rabner said the administration will monitor the closures and adjust as needed.

    "We will continue to re-evaluate," he said.

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    We're 5 people short, and the PD is 3 short
    Our PD just hired another cop and the township it cutting everyones budget...and you guessed it we were one of the firsts....
    NEVER FORGET!
    9/11/01

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    Talking Hey George!..............

    Are Bribes to Government Officials suspended while they are idle?.......... No, wait. They are idle when they're on the job........



    Seriously, I hope that the impact on Public safety is minimal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Well, I suppose in a world where Ted Kennedy and John Kerry can get elected for terms ad infinitum, there is that possibility. But NJ voters sent Jim Florio packing after one term.
    Maybe some of that logical reasoning could be passed on to the folks in Taxachusetts. Not likely since if your name is Kennedy you will ALWAYS be elected to office. Can't figure out Kerry though - but he was Lt. Governor under Mike Dukakis and those people loved him.
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    Atlantic City's 12 casinos could be forced to close because they require state monitoring, though the casino industry is challenging that in court.
    I was trying to figure why the casino's would be closed, now I know.

    PS - for anyone losing their "vacation" destination, beaches in my area are not state controlled and will remain open.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    I was trying to figure why the casino's would be closed, now I know.

    PS - for anyone losing their "vacation" destination, beaches in my area are not state controlled and will remain open.

    Shhhhh theres enough BENNY's in the area already Bones !
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    (but they can't read the parking signs so they help keep my taxes low)
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Talking Yeah, Right!...............

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    (but they can't read the parking signs so they help keep my taxes low)

    How about a "Mind's eye" picture of Bones in a Meter Maid's uniform, writin' them up.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    How about a "Mind's eye" picture of Bones in a Meter Maid's uniform, writin' them up.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF
    I'll second that!



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    Actually, "Parking Enforcement" is the first step for quite a few of our police officers. They then move up to "Seasonal Officer". Then they move up to a full time officer. It's not a bad way to get a leg into the department.

    And in all fairness, they suffer from the verbal harrassment of people that can't read parking signs continuously.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF
    Shhhhh theres enough BENNY's in the area already Bones !
    BENNY'S are the only reason you have paved roads and indoor plumbing.

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    N.J. Lawmakers Must Work on Budget July 4
    Jul 3, 8:07 PM (ET)

    By TOM HESTER Jr.

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - As the state government shutdown threatened to close Atlantic City's casinos, Gov. Jon S. Corzine on Monday said New Jersey lawmakers must report to the Statehouse on July Fourth and stay there until they adopt a budget.

    Corzine called for a special session of the Legislature after Monday afternoon negotiations with the lawmaker leading opposition to the governor's proposed sales tax increase failed yet again.

    "I will try to speak explicitly about a compromise that I hope people will find is reasonable," Corzine said.

    At the casinos, meanwhile, executives and employees were fearing the worst - a total shutdown, the first in the 28-year history of legalized gambling in New Jersey.

    Barring a breakthrough in Trenton, the state planned to force the 12 casinos to stop taking bets as of 8 a.m. Wednesday because they cannot operate without state gambling monitors, and those workers are not deemed "essential" employees who keep getting paid during a shutdown.

    State parks, historic sites and beaches also could be closed Wednesday unless a budget is adopted before then.

    The state Supreme Court on Monday evening denied the casinos' request to continue operating while they appealed the shutdown order.

    The state stands to lose $1.3 million a day in revenue to help senior citizens and people with disabilities if the casinos close, Heneghan said. Nearby business owners said they also feared a financial hit unless a budget was adopted.

    "When they shut down, then there's no tourists, no conventions, no money for the workers. That's not good," said Ann Ji, who runs a beauty supplies store one block from the casino strip.

    Corzine imposed the shutdown after lawmakers missed a July 1 deadline to adopt a new state budget. He wants to raise the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to help overcome a $4.5 billion budget deficit. The proposal would cost the average New Jersey family $275 per year, according to experts.

    Most Democrats in the Assembly and several Senate Democrats oppose the sales tax increase. Assembly Democrats proposed a series of alternatives, some of which Corzine accepted, but they remained $1 billion apart.

    With state government unable to spend, lottery ticket sales and road construction were halted, courts closed and about 45,000 state employees, more than half the government work force, were off the job. Only personnel deemed essential - including state police, prison guards, child welfare workers, and some administration staff - remained at their posts.

    About 150 furloughed state workers rallied Monday outside the Statehouse, pleading with lawmakers to end the impasse.

    The state extended deadlines for people who needed to renew driver's licenses, vehicle registrations and car inspections. Some people showed up at those state offices Monday but found the doors closed.

    "I was shocked. It's a waste of time and money and my day off," said Victoria Moore, 53, of Ocean City, who was looking to renew her license. "I balance my budget at home; why can't they balance theirs? I know how to cut corners at home; why can't they?"

    On Tuesday, Corzine intends to push a compromise plan offered nearly two weeks ago by Senate President Richard J. Codey.

    It involves using half the $1.1 billion that would be raised by the sales tax increase to ease the state's highest-in-the-nation property taxes. The Senate president predicted the plan would pass the Legislature if considered, but Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, D-Camden, has rejected it.

    Roberts has been leading opposition to the sales tax increase and continued to reject the compromise late Monday. He wants a sales tax increase reserved for property tax reform talks to be held later this year and opposes using it to fund general state spending.

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    We have career politicians in this country who are so far removed from reality that they don't care about anything except getting re-elected. You are short of money in the state so you set it up so you have to close down two of your best industries: gambling and tourism. What about the family that saved up for a week at the shore only to find out some politicians couldn't play nice so now they have a overpriced rental but no beach to sit on? I'm sure the politicians have a private beach house somewhere that isn't affected by this. I'm in favor of financial penalties or at the very least a denial of vacation until the politicians settle the budgets each year in their respective states. Who else could get away with saying "Sorry, I know I didn't finish but hey I need my vacation. Be back in a few months?" That goes for Congress too.

    This is in no way a slam against NJ. New York continuously screws around with the budget and this year is no exception. Governor Pataki put some controversial items in the budget in hopes of pushing it through. Well, it got hung up and now some vital programs for the most needy will face gaps next year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYSmokey
    We have career politicians in this country who are so far removed from reality that they don't care about anything except getting re-elected. You are short of money in the state so you set it up so you have to close down two of your best industries: gambling and tourism. What about the family that saved up for a week at the shore only to find out some politicians couldn't play nice so now they have a overpriced rental but no beach to sit on? I'm sure the politicians have a private beach house somewhere that isn't affected by this. I'm in favor of financial penalties or at the very least a denial of vacation until the politicians settle the budgets each year in their respective states. Who else could get away with saying "Sorry, I know I didn't finish but hey I need my vacation. Be back in a few months?" That goes for Congress too.

    This is in no way a slam against NJ. New York continuously screws around with the budget and this year is no exception. Governor Pataki put some controversial items in the budget in hopes of pushing it through. Well, it got hung up and now some vital programs for the most needy will face gaps next year.
    I wonder if anyone, other than a career politician, can come up with a position (one they actually believe in) why term limits would be bad?

    I agree with you. Term limits would solve, overnight, alot of the ultra-partisan bickering that goes on. You could have people run for office who actually are interested in providing a few years to public service instead of setting up a permanent tit to survive off of.

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