New Jersey Budget Stalemate Ends
As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "New Jersey's budget stalemate finally ended Thursday, giving hope that casinos and state services would reopen by Saturday. "On the sixth day of a state government shutdown, Assembly Democrats relented on their opposition to Gov. Jon S. Corzine's 1 percent sales-tax increase on the condition that at least half the revenue goes to deliver $5 billion in property-tax relief over the next 10 years. The sales tax would increase from 6 percent to 7 percent. ".Beyond that, most details of the $30 billion spending plan were still being worked out Thursday night. Still unclear is whether the state will extend casino taxes set to expire this year or impose a fee for rural policing. "While much work remains, Corzine said at an afternoon news conference that he expected both houses to approve a budget 'between the next 24 to 36 hours.' If they do, state gaming inspectors could return to the floor of Atlantic City's 12 casinos by late today or early Saturday. ".For casino workers, the lost wages may never be recouped. Corzine said he favored restoring pay to state workers, but no decisions had been made."