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State lawmakers at breakfast
March 16, 2010 - John D'Agostino
In Lakewood last week, state Sen. Catharine Young, Assemblymen William Parment and Joseph Giglio addressed county chamber members during the annual Legislative breakfast at the Rod and Gun Club.
Out-of-control state spending was one of the major themes of the breakfast, which included numerous questions from the office. Proposals — that have been around for more than a year now — to reduce state spending include: the Lundine Commission report, which advocated for less local government; merging area schools and freezing one of the highest costs in the budget — payrolls and pensions.
My role in the breakfast as a chamber board member was as moderator, asking the questions posed by our members and guests — more than 170 in attendance.
Despite all three lawmakers taking stances that agree with the Lundine Commission and merging area schools, the state representatives continue to look the other way when it comes to freezing payrolls. However, if money becomes too tight, the alternative to pay freezes are serious job cuts.
What may have been one of the more telling portions of the breakfast was at the end. The question posed to three lawmakers was this: What can we do to break up the local and state unions that technically run our state?
For 15 seconds, none of our reps wanted to answer the question. After that, Giglio took the question and basically stated their needs to be some give and take with both parties.
Bottom line, however, is if our reps do not jump at the chance to answer the billion-dollar question, why would anyone else in state government want to? They may be one of the biggest expenditures in the budget, but they also vote.
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