N.J. debt grew by $4.1 billion over last year. Loan payments will affect state budget for years to come

  • $37.5 BILLION: New Jersey's debt, according to a state report.
  • $4,300: The amount of state debt per resident.
  • $11 BILLION: The amount of borrowing lawmakers have approved.

New Jersey's debt grew by $4.1 billion over the past year, locking in loan payments that will consume chunks of the state budget for years to come.

The state's total debt climbed to nearly $30 billion, according to a state report submitted Friday to the Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning. That figure doesn't include billions of dollars more in debts for bonds tied to a settlement with tobacco companies and unfunded pension and health care costs.

With all obligations counted, the report put state debt at $37.5 billion — equal to nearly $4,300 for each person living in New Jersey.

Lawmakers have already authorized another $11 billion in borrowing, mostly for school and road projects. And billions more for school construction is being contemplated.

Republicans blamed Democrats for what they termed irresponsible budgeting.

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