We welcomed Regina Egea, President of Garden State Initiative (GSI) which is a non-partisan, independent research and educational institution focused on the economy of New Jersey and making this state a place where families can afford to live and businesses can thrive.  When adding it all up, taxes and total state income, there is $117B available to spend; and where does this get spent? The three major areas are: 3. Transportation: road and street maintenance and upgrading.  While the weather in the NE comes into play, there are ways to economize and practical changes that could be made.  2. Education: the highest expense is school bussing followed by facility maintenance. They looked at what other states are doing and see that if the 600 school districts would consolidate their purchases and the state reviewed routes, costs would decrease.  1. The number one expense is health benefits and pensions for public employees: in order to relieve the escalating costs of living in NJ, the health benefit systems must be modernized.  Not only does GSI evaluate and assess the current situation, but strives to provide new, innovative solutions to the state’s problems so that NJ can become economically strong and vibrant.  For additional information visit their website www.GardenStateInitiative.org or contact Regina at regea@gardenstateinitiative.org.