Budget official steps down in New Jersey

Just weeks before Gov. Chris Christie unveils his new state budget proposal, the ranking Republican on the New Jersey Assembly Budget Committee is stepping down over disgust with the process.

Assemblyman Joe Malone intends to give up the position of Republican budget officer that he’s held since 2004. He said the budget hearing process has become a charade to score political points.

“We need to get on one page, decide that we have a problem, and try to work to resolve that problem rather than go back and forth like children in a school yard on different issues,” he said. “It’s just embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to sit there and see it.”

Malone, who will continue to serve in the Assembly, will take on a new role as deputy minority leader.

His replacement, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, said his focus will be to continue the push for fiscal discipline.

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