New Jersey's debt climbs to $33.9 billion

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2009 4:55 PM

A new report paints a bleak picture of state debt.

The annual debt report, approved Friday by a legislative commission on budgeting and planning, shows that state debt has reached $33.9 billion, the third highest in the nation.

Last year, the debt was $31.9 billion.

Gov.-elect Chris Christie called the state's fiscal situation "awful" when asked about indebtedness this week. He assumes office in January with a budget deficit projected at $8 billion for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Two Republicans on the commission, Sen. Steve Oroho of Sparta and Assemblyman David Wolfe of Brick, did not approve the report. They say it underestimates pension fund and health care obligations and omits $2 billion in unemployment funds owed to the federal government.