State Senator Barbara Buono has employed her leadership skills in attempting to maintain the protections and services that New Jerseyans are losing with the ratification of the current Budget. She also has employed her interpersonal skills in convincing the State’s vulnerable citizens that she is not abandoning them.

Buonohas been critical of Governor Chris Christie’s line item cuts to the 2011-2012 State Budget. According to Buono, the cuts are “mean-spirited and retaliatory. He once again shortchanges our schools even though he claims he restored the nearly billion dollars in cuts he made last year. Not true.”

Senator Buono is the first woman to serve as the Majority Leader in the Upper House. She has been proactive in pursuing social change in New Jersey, and was the first woman to chair the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Buono also serves as the Chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee.

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She authored “Anti-Bullying” legislation, and has worked to protect New Jersey citizens by sponsoring a bill that restricts “predatory lending”. In addition she has authored legislation designed to provide comprehensive health care for children. As a fighter in favor of a budget that will truly serve all New Jerseyans, Buono has been vocal about the Governor’s budget constraints. However, the Senator has indicated that we must cut wasteful spending as part of a budget reform process. Nevertheless, she maintains that too many vulnerable citizens are left without protections and services with the Governor’s current budget.

Buono has suggested that the Governor has “cut the Non-partisan Office of Legislative Services because they dared to disagree with his revenue projections. So he is seeking to silence the only truly objective check and balance on his unbridled power. He cut what we restored to TAG grants for college students and then cut an additional $25 million!” Buono further describes the Governor’s budget as “vindictive and just plain wrong”. 

Barbara Buono was born in Newark and attended Montclair State University, earning her B.A. degree before attending Rutgers Law School – Camden – where she earned her J.D.  degree. The Senator first served in the Assembly beginning in 1994, and began service in the Senate in 2002. Her demonstration of leadership has led to her being discussed as a possible gubernatorial candidate in 2012.

Despite a rocky political road ahead, Barbara Buono will not abandon New Jersey’s vulnerable citizens.