The school funding bill (as expected) made it's getaway out of the Senate and Assembly budget committees on Thursday, and it's ready for a vote by Sharpe James and the rest lame duck legislature on Monday.
Why is this bill such a crock? Well, for starters, fourteen amendments were added to the 100-plus page bill on Thursday. Some of those amendments are the results of incentives that had to be added by Corzine in order to gain approval from special interest groups and some of the urban legislators that have claimed that the bill doesn't do enough for poor inner-city schools, one of them being Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy.
According to PolitickerNJ.com, Healy claims that the school funding formula is just the latest example of Corzine's administration giving his city the cold shoulder:
“I’m received very well but I don’t get a god damn thing for our city…. So far this administration has not done a whole hell of a lot for the citizens of Jersey City."
Plus, the first chance the legislature got to see the bill was December 20th. Is 2 weeks enough time to read, analyze and debate a bill this important?
Art Gallagher over at More Monmouth Musings claims that the only way to pay for Corzine's increase in school spending is by postponing the debt service of $1.5 billion due next year, which will be done by paying off old debt with the new toll road debt, and other fiscal chicanery.
With the State of the State address coming on Tuesday, we'll see if the school funding bill gets pushed through, which I expect it will. That way, Corzine can begin to unleash his asset monetization scheme to pay for it.
School funding plan assures Asset Monetization
More Monmouth Musings
Healy says Jersey City is slighted
Corzine school formula moves forward
Asbury Park Press