The Assembly and Senate budget committee face a busy schedule over the next 23 days as they begin examining Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed $32.1 billion 2012-13 state budget.
The lower house Budget Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday to obtain an update from the Christie administration on its Medicaid waiver plan.
The administration booked $300 million in savings in the current 2011-12 budget from revising the Medicaid health care program for low-income New Jerseyans.
Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), the committee chairman, announced Tuesday that the panel will hold three public hearings on proposed budget plan in each region of the state.
“With New Jerseyans having been dealt a net 20 percent property tax increase under Governor Christie, it’s more important than ever to hear what residents need to see in their state spending plan,” Prieto said. “New Jerseyans are struggling daily to keep their homes, educate their children and afford quality health care. We need their input as move forward, and we will stay at each and every hearing until everyone who wants to speak is heard.”
The committee will review the health, human services, senior citizen, family and children’s issues on March 7 at 9:30 a.m. in the Statehouse Annex in Trenton.
The panel will examine education, higher education and local government Issues on March 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the Dental School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 50 12th Ave. in Newark.
On March 20 at 9:30 a.m., at a southern New Jersey site to be determined, the committee will review public safety, economic development, transportation, environment, arts, history and cultural Issues and other topics.
The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee will open its budget review with two hearings for public input.
The first of two all-day sessions will be held March 13 at Montclair State University in Montclair. The second will be held March 22 at Burlington County College in Pemberton. Individuals planning to testify can register online through the state Office of Legislative Services’ website (click on online registration next to “Budget Hearings”) or by calling the Legislative Budget and Finance Office at (609) 847-3105.