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Monday, November 16, 2009

Christie: NJ budget problems "worse than expected"

Multiple sources report that the incoming New Jersey governor Chris Christie and his transition team today announced that the state's financial crisis is "worse than they expected." One report says there will be a shortfall of more than $8 billion if departmental budgets continue to grow at their present rate. Christie has previously assured state workers they have nothing to fear, and that he will not cut taxes. This means the new administration will have to cut spending.

Crime, Politics and Policy suggests one program to cut is the planned state database of all children diagnosed with handicaps, such as autism spectrum disorders, cleft palates and other birth defects. This database does nothing to help the children but would create lots of monitoring make-work for bureaucrats and nosy nellies and "buttinskies" and naturally it costs money to pay these people. Outgoing Governor Jon Corzine just signed the law mandating the database (and compelling doctors to report to the state all children with such diagnoses) in October 2009.  The handicapped-children database should either be repealed immediately, or amended to allow parents to have to "opt in" so there is no risk of privacy being violated.  

This is a children's rights issue, and also privacy rights issue; it is not a make-the-bureaucrats-feel-good issue.

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