On February 28, Gov. Christie delivered his eighth and final budget address to a joint session of the legislature, officially kicking off negotiations on the state’s FY 2018 budget. The legislature’s focus for the next few months will essentially be on the budget, as it must be passed by July 1.
The Governor’s plan calls for $35.5 billion in State appropriations, a 2.6% increase over the fiscal year 2017 adjusted appropriation. The judicial branch would get $9.3 million more than last year under the Governor’s plan, bringing total spending on the third branch up to $747,755,000.
Several items on NJCJI’s policy agenda are budget neutral changes that would help to improve New Jersey’s economy and could reduce future spending by the courts.
“The correlation between legal reform and economic growth is clear,” said Marcus Rayner, President of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute. “Civil justice reform is a way to capture the money we waste on lawyer’s fees and litigation costs – without raising taxes or cutting essential services.”