New Jersey is on the fiscal brink because of years of damaging choices. Now the problem is immense and the consequences of inaction are alarming. There is no one action that the state can take. Fixing our fiscal problems will be neither quick nor painless, but the work must begin immediately.
New Jersey’s new political leaders – the governor and Legislature elected in November 2017 – have a daunting charge. Unpleasant but necessary state policy actions lie ahead. Given the breadth of the state’s fiscal problems, and the need to both scale back on valued services and raise additional revenues, the impact will be widespread and not short in duration. Reforming New Jersey’s fiscal policies will take far longer than a single legislative or gubernatorial term of office.
It is clear, though, that to restore its ability to make public investments at the level needed for thriving communities and a strong economy, New Jersey needs, now, to stop digging its financial hole deeper, and, then, do everything it takes to climb out.