O’Scanlon: Dems have only themselves to blame for NJ’s credit rating

O’Scanlon: Dems have only themselves to blame for NJ’s credit rating


TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) issued the following statement  in response to suggestions at today’s Assembly Budget Committee hearing that the Christie administration is solely responsible for the state’s credit rating downgrades:

“It should come as no shock to anyone who is paying the slightest bit of attention to New Jersey’s economic conditions that:

“Without meaningful structural changes that improve the affordability of the state’s liabilities, the state’s structural imbalance will persist and/or pension liabilities will grow, and the state’s rating will continue to fall.” Moody’s, Aug. 17, 2015.

“However, in the absence of a solution to pension and other postemployment liabilities, budget and credit pressure will accelerate and the rating could be vulnerable to further downgrades.” S&P, August 24, 2015.

“As the problem worsens and the state looks for ways to share this burden, the probability of the state needing to take alternative action, including reductions in state aid, increases.” Moody’s, Oct. 19, 2015.

“Absent reform…funding the 10% pension contribution schedule and other budget growth would require 3.5% to 4.5% average revenue growth through fiscal 2023, compared to a 3.4% average since 2010. The range of necessary revenue growth will depend on the state’s ability to keep average operating cost growth below the projected inflation rate, which will be challenging over time.” Moody’s, Jan. 20, 2016.

“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t tie the governor’s hands then legitimately complain he’s failed to take action. If Democrat leadership wants to find someone to blame for the state’s dire fiscal situation, I have a mirror for them.

“But rather than casting blame, I’d much prefer we roll up our sleeves and work together to implement the reforms that will fix the situation.”

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