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Letters to the Editor

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Three key measures - none of which would require significant state resources - would have an immediate and lasting impact on our business climate: * Creation of a council on economic competitiveness and sustainability. Key cabinet officials whose departments impact the economic development process in New Jersey should compose this council, with the lieutenant governor serving as chair The council should assess policies and practices that make New Jersey uncompetitive and, where feasible, devise strategies to correct these challenges; prepare a "business plan" for New Jersey, including identifying industry clusters that New Jersey could attract and/or grow; and ensure state government is responsive to the needs of the business community. * Creation of an advisory board on economic competitiveness and sustainability.

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									Cuts to higher education would be dire                                                                                                                                      Poll Results
                                                                                                                                                                                New stadium development:
Gov. Chris Christie’s budget plan,                      Jersey’s institutions of higher education have
                                                                                                                       Corner              Office
unveiled March 16, calls for dramatic reduc-            experienced funding reductions in eight of
tions in state spending on municipal aid, school        the last 11 years. As a result, if this proposal is     Have a hard-hitting stance on a New Jersey
aid and higher edu-                                     enacted, TCNJ would receive far less from the             business issue? If you are a business or                          26.4%
cation aid, among                                       state, in real dollars, than it did more than a          policy leader with a strong opinion, we                                               35.3%
other measures                                          decade ago.                                             want to hear from you. Please send op-ed
designed to rec-                                              Though the governor’s budget plan would               proposals to editorial@njbiz.com.
oncile a staggering                                     significantly reduce state support received by
                                                                                                                                                                                        38.4%
budget shortfall.                                       colleges and universities, it also calls for the
The governor’s pro-                                     elimination of certain unfunded mandates and          problems. I remain, however, convinced of the
posed state budget                                      impediments to efficiency. The proposal further       vital role higher education plays in determining                Should follow the public-private model of
for fiscal year 2011,                                   suggests actions designed to enable institutions      the quality of New Jersey’s future. Those who                   New Meadowlands Stadium
which will begin                                        of higher education to operate more proficiently      appreciate the value of higher education should                 Relies too much on tax dollars to be a real
July 1, will have         R. Barbara Gitenstein         and purposefully. We welcome this greater flex-       advocate for both the reinstatement of fiscal                   economic investment
significant ramifi-                                     ibility and, frankly, need it if we are to maintain   resources and simultaneously deliver a strong                   Makes New Jersey appealing, but the current
                                                                                                                                                                              facilities are sufficient
cations for the present and future of higher            quality in the face of diminished resources.
education in New Jersey. Undeniably, this pro-                It will take some time to determine the full
posal presents colleges and universities with an        impact of Christie’s proposed budget on New            It will take some time to deter-                        Stop funding private
imposing fiscal challenge. At the same time, it         Jersey’s higher education community. staffing          mine the full impact of Christie’s
includes relief from some unfunded mandates
and onerous restrictions that create impedi-
                                                        reductions, program eliminations and tuition
                                                        increases are some of the regrettable outcomes
                                                                                                              proposed budget on New Jersey’s                          stadiums in New Jersey
ments to efficiency.                                    likely to result from this decrease in funding          higher education community.                            In completIng new meadowlands Stadium,
      The implications of the governor’s plan           and its historical predecessors. on the other                                                                  the giants and Jets took a page out of a never-
for higher education are extraordinary, and             hand, there also is the prospect of more effi-                                                                 used playbook, agreeing to split all the costs of
I will use my own institution, The College              cient and productive operations, as well as           message in support of the governor’s proposed            construction. While the teams worked with the
of New Jersey, to illustrate this point. Under          enhanced long-term planning capabilities, if          relief from unfunded mandates and restrictions           state to manage the site, typical arena construc-
Christie’s proposal, TCNJ would see its base            the governor’s recommendations related to             that hamper efficiency and productivity.                 tion projects — think the prudential and Izod
appropriation drop $5.2 million, from $34.5             institutional autonomy are adopted. In rec-                 New Jersey’s colleges and universities are         centers, to start — are fueled with hundreds of
million to $29.3 million. The $5.2 million repre-       onciling the state’s budget crisis, Christie was      both economic engines and engines of oppor-              thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds.
sents the proposed cut to TCNJ’s appropriation          forced to choose from a menu of distasteful           tunity, and while the state’s recent history of                many supported the idea of public-
and does not include required expenditure               options, and now colleges and universities            disinvestment makes it more challenging, The             private models since, as reader JoAnn Dixon
increases for next year. This tremendous chal-          encounter a similar dilemma.                          College of New Jersey will do everything possi-          wrote, “we need another expenditure like a
lenge is exacerbated by the state’s recent his-               I recognize that New Jersey is in fiscal        ble to continue delivering upon its mission. u           hole in the head.” Bill Losey, meanwhile, wrote
tory with regard to funding higher education.           disrepair and that higher education is one of         ------------------------------------------------------   that the government should stay out of the
While many recipients of state support are              many sectors that will suffer as a result of the      R. Barbara Gitenstein is president of The College        sports business: “If this is such a great project,
adversely affected in Christie’s proposal, New          actions necessary to resolve the state’s budget       of New Jersey, in Ewing.                                 let the private sector build and run it.”
                                                                                                                                                                             In their responses, though, plenty of
                                                                                                                                                                       readers were against any state involvement in
                                                                                                                                                                       future stadium projects. Reader Jack Duk, of
Preserving N.J.’s vibrant economy                       five years as the symbol and prime mover of              Letters to the Editor
                                                                                                                                                                       Obvious Ice, said that goes for casinos, too.
                                                        our industrialization and living standard — our
                                                                                                                   We encourage readers to write letters                     “there is no one in government bright
I have said this many times over the 50-plus            roads — crumble into dust.
                                                                                                                  concerning New Jersey business issues.               enough to decide if anything will benefit
years I have lived in New Jersey, my home
                   
								
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