As of press time, our poll respondents had pretty much made up their minds about the governor’s plans to reign in state debt, and there still wasn’t much support for it. The majority (60%) view the plan as a stunning example of fuzzy math, while the remaining 40% admit it could work. Doug Haynes, managing principal of CresaPartners, claims the proposals are a necessary step to shore up the state’s economy and business image. Here are his thoughts:

“It’s a step in the right direction as part of a longer process. We have a lot of things to work on in New Jersey, and the fiscal situation affects the whole state and all the businesses. New Jersey has been living beyond its means for too long and it’s going to take years of spending reduction and revenue raising to get the state back on a stronger track.

“Most people realize that we have a relatively soft business environment because of heavy taxation, and New Jersey is not perceived as a pro-business environment. The state’s problems with the budget and the fiscal situation are going to take years to fix. It’s not realistic to think we can wave a magic wand and fix things in a hurry.

“As far as industrial businesses moving to Pennsylvania if the tolls go up, I think that’s a possibility. I also think that our infrastructure is struggling. To some degree, maybe it’s not such a bad thing to have less stress on our infrastructure and less wear and tear. Our economy has been evolving, and if our economy becomes more reliant on service or technology and pharmaceuticals rather than industrial, then fine, let the trucks go through Pennsylvania. We’re a high-cost state and it’s expensive for anybody to do business here.”

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