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New Jersey Policy Perspective Report

Posted at 5:28 pm September 14, 2016, in NJ Governors

BlogLogoA new report out today from New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP)* argues that the state’s economic future is threatened by nine key decisions made starting in the 1990s that have “starved the capacity of state government to maintain and expand the assets that give New Jersey unrivaled economic advantages.” Titled The Notorious Nine: How Key Decisions Sent New Jersey’s Financial Health Spiraling Down Over Two Decades and written by Gordon MacInnes and Sheila Renyertson, the report suggests that “both major political parties and all three government branches contributed to the failure.”

A useful companion to help readers review and assess the NJPP report is the Governors and State Finance section of the Center on the American Governor’s website (, released on May 4, 2016. Excerpts from our blog post that day follow:


In the Center’s new analysis on Governors and State Finance, assisted with support from the Fund for New Jersey, we have assembled more than 100 relatively short video clips* that provide background information and both complementary and contrasting perspectives on New Jersey state fiscal policy and decisions from the mid-1960s through 2001.

Anyone can now log onto and watch and hear, for example:

    • Former State Treasurers Cliff Goldman and the late Dick Leone, and Assemblyman Al Burstein reflect on tax proposals advanced by Governors Hughes and Cahill;
    • Past legislative leaders Joe Doria, John Lynch and Steven Perskie contrast how tax increases were enacted and promoted during the administrations of Governors Kean and Florio; and
    • Governors Florio and Whitman as well as Florio officials Rick Wright, Sam Crane, Jon Shure and David Appelbaum and Whitman staffers and advisors Mike Torpey, Peter Veniero, Jim DiEleuterio, John Farmer, Pete McDonough and Candace Straight discuss the very different fiscal initiatives of those two governors.

*New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) describes itself as a non-profit that “drives policy change to advance economic justice and prosperity for all New Jerseyans through evidence-based, independent research, analysis and advocacy… Our efforts reflect these principles: (1) Government has an active role to play in helping people reach their full potential; (2) Public investment and good government practices, along with market strategies, are essential to securing prosperity for all; and (3) A strong public sector is the cornerstone of a civil society.”

-John Weingart