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Senator Paul Sarlo, the chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement today announcing the suspension of the committee’s hearings on the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget and plans for crafting a new “coronavirus crisis” budget:

“Following through on the agreement among the Governor and the Senate and Assembly leaders to extend the timetable of the current budget year, I am suspending the Fiscal Year 2021 public hearings previously planned for April through June until a new spending plan is developed over the summer months.

“The ongoing public health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is creating severe financial hardship for the people of New Jersey as well as fiscal challenges for the state, including what will be historic and sudden declines in revenues.

“We don’t yet know the full dimensions of the financial consequences so the agreement to extend the current fiscal year to the end of September will give us a workable timetable to better understand our resources and craft a budget that addresses our critical needs.

“The work of the Senate Budget Committee will take on much greater importance and will confront us with more challenging financial realities. We will work together with the Governor and the Assembly to get through this crisis, to make the best use of all available resources and to put a spending plan in place that helps our residents.”

Senator Sarlo also said he will sponsor legislation with Senator Steve Oroho to extend the tax deadline and to lengthen the state fiscal year an additional three months.