The largest spending plan in New Jersey state history a $46.4 billion budget, 15% higher than last year was passed last Thursday along party lines, with a 25-15 vote in the Senate and 49-26 in the Assembly. Last weeks passing of the budget didn’t include adequate funding to update New Jersey’s outdated computer systems at the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission and Labor Department. Schools remain underfunded, NJ Transit ignored, unemployment insurance fraud unaddressed, and small businesses crushed. Don’t be fooled: expect massive tax hikes next year. As of today, July 1, New Jersey employers will be pounded by a major payroll tax increase that the majority refused to stop. What the majority did include was $400 million in so-called ‘Christmas tree’ spending added to the budget, triple the amount of last year. New Jersey residents want transparency, unfortunately the majority didn’t get the memo. Budget resolutions that are supposed to document each legislative addition to the budget were not made public before it was passed out of both houses. Senate President Steve Sweeney, (D-Gloucester), said the resolutions will “become available, hopefully right after the governor signs the budget.” In other words, “We have to pass the bill so that we can find out what is in it.” I will continue to fight for my constituents, especially the families that have struggled for weeks or months to receive the unemployment benefits they earned and desperately need to survive.