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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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