NJ's own economic stimulus plan

TRENTON - October 16, 2008 Governor Corzine told a joint session of the legislature the state and the nation are facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and lawmakers must act to help struggling families and businesses.

"The important question for all of us to address here today is not who set the house on fire, but how do we extinguish the flames and get on with the task of rebuilding," Governor Corzine said.

Corzine is proposing using state and federal dollars to prevent home foreclosures and buy up vacant properties, and he wants to invest $500-million from the state pension fund into community banks to encourage lending.

"Our pension money is not the fountain to which you reach every single time you need money and then blame state workers for all the troubles," Rae Roeder of the CWA Local 1033.

Corzine also wants to fast track construction on roads and schools and alternative energy projects to create jobs, as well as providing emergency funding for food banks and expanding assistance programs that help people pay for heat.

And among the ideas to help business? Offering $3,000 checks to companies for every job they create and keep for a year.

Government is hearing the business community and is willing to make some changes to make it easier to do business in New Jersey," Joan VerPlanck of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

Reaction on the street to the economic rescue plan?

"It's like a quick fix like a Band-Aid so I don't know whether it will work or not," Lori Hillman of Hamilton Township, New Jersey.

"If they're standing still they're not doing anything at least he's doing something and he's making an attempt," Roland Alexander of Trenton, New Jersey said.

Corzine says he'll pay for this by making more budget cuts.

"We do have a say about our economic destiny. Being a bystander, standing idly by is not an option," Governor Corzine said.

It's not just the state's economy the governor's concerned with. It's also his job. he's up for reelection next year and has been attacked by Republicans for not doing enough to keep the economy afloat.

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