TRENTON - Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie said the governor's announcement that state revenues may have fallen as much as $2 billion below expectations "is just another indication of how badly the governor and his staff have bungled budgeting in this state."
In a conference call with reporters, Christie also called on the governor to go the Statehouse steps and say that he will not raise income taxes.
Corzine on Thursday said the worsening economy means that the state might fall $1.5 billion to $2 billion short of projections.
That suggests the state could again cut the current-year budget before the June 30 end of the fiscal year to comply with constitutional requirements that expenses match revenues. The governor has already trimmed $1.76 billion from the current-year budget.
Corzine said the administration will announce further details early this month.
Christie, the former U.S. attorney for New Jersey, also touted his school voucher proposal, saying it would allow students attending so-called Abbott schools to attend any school they want that accepts them.
Abbott schools are 31 poorer districts that receive additional funding. They get their name from the landmark state Supreme Court ruling that required additional funding. They locally include Pleasantville, Bridgeton and Vineland.
Christie attacked fellow Republican candidate Steve Lonegan, who has also called for vouchers in failing schools, but would require students to attend schools in the same municipality. "Steve has a fake voucher program and I have a real one," Christie said.
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