TRENTON - Calling his $33 billion 2009 budget proposal a "turning point" in New Jersey's fiscal management, Gov. Jon Corzine yesterday presented the Legislature with a fiscal plan that is $500 million smaller than the current year's budget of $33.5 billion and includes approximately $3.2 billion of budgetary cuts to bring next year's expenditures in line with decreasing revenues.

The governor said his proposal includes the second-largest spending cut of any budget in New Jersey history and only the fourth budget since 1951 to actually shrink in comparison to preceding budgets. The reality of the rising cost of government due to higher health care payments, debt service costs, and added school funding aid contrasted with a projected modest increase of only $500 million of net revenue for fiscal 2009, which begins July 1, forces the governor to incorporate the $3.2 billion of decreased spending into next year's fiscal strategy.

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