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Passing Governor Corzine’s First Budget

Once upon a time, New Jersey had a new governor who was having difficulty gaining legislative approval for his first budget. Although he had extensive fiscal expertise and his party controlled both houses, his experience was largely in the private sector and he faced an Assembly Speaker with his own priorities and a seasoned Senate President who had good reason to have thought he might now be the new governor himself.

This was the situation exactly 12 years ago when Governor Jon Corzine, Senate President Dick Codey and Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts were working to adopt New Jersey’s FY ‘07 budget, but perhaps it sounds familiarly contemporary?

On May 14, 2018, the Eagleton Center on the American Governor held an opening colloquium for the Governor Jon S. Corzine archive which will be included on the Center’s site when the archive is launched in the coming weeks

The second panel from that session – Crafting and Passing New Jersey’s FY ’07 State Budget – brought forth such parallels with (and differences from) the current FY ’19 budget deliberations, we felt it would be instructive to make it publically available now, in advance of the launch of the archive. Accordingly, a the video-recording and transcript of the hour-long discussion is below. The conversation features:

  • Governor Corzine
  • Brad Abelow, Governor Corzine’s first State Treasurer
  • Bill Castner, then Assembly Democratic staff liaison for the budget discussions
  • Josh Margolin, then Statehouse reporter for The Star-Ledger
  • Patti McGuire, then Governor Corzine’s deputy chief of staff
  • David Rousseau, then Senate Democratic staff liaison for the budget discussions
  • Tom Shea, then the Governor’s Chief of Staff

The session was held at the Eagleton Institute of Politics in New Brunswick. In 2006, a budget agreement was not reached until July 6th after a week-long government shutdown. It remains to be seen what will happen in 2018, but perhaps these reflections on the not-so-distant past can provide some context, perspective, and even guidance.


Transcript available here (pdf)