Senate Deputy Republican Leader Diane Allen called on Jon Corzine to join the bipartisan chorus urging Congress to delay a vote on a health care reform bill until Washington figures out a way to pay for the plan without shifting costs to the states. Governors of both parties meeting in Mississippi over the weekend expressed grave doubts about the bill’s impact. Democrat Governors Christine Gregorie of Washington, Phil Bredesen of Tennessee and Bill Richardson of New Mexico were among those who said Washington appeared poised to require that states pick up billions in Medicaid obligations without providing federal aid to pay for them.
Senator Joe Pennacchio said he has begun counting the days it takes Governor Jon Corzine to account for the $17 billion in federal stimulus money that is being sent to New Jersey. He issued his first call for the governor to disclose where stimulus money is going on July 15.
“The Corzine administration knows by now exactly where it expects to spend most or all of the stimulus money,” Pennacchio said. “The governor and the president have promised full transparency in the spending of this aid, which is supposed to put our economy back on its feet, not provide the governor with an election-year goody bag for his supporters.
“So where’s the disclosure?” Pennacchio said. “The governor’s Web site, http://www.recovery.nj.gov/ is as transparent as a lump of coal.
Senator Joe Kyrillos, a member of the Senate Economic Growth Committee, issued the following statement regarding today’s release of New York’s June unemployment figures. The New York unemployment rate for June was 8.7 percent, considerably lower than the recently released New Jersey unemployment rate of 9.2 percent for the same period.
Republican Senate Leader Tom Kean said he was surprised to hear that Governor Corzine issued a press release touting record-high state spending on property tax reimbursements under the Senior Freeze program.
“Senior Freeze reimbursements only rise if property taxes increase,” Kean said. “This is an admission the governor has failed to stop the growth in property taxes for yet another year.”
Another Stupid Regulation that Hurts Consumers in NJ
Senator Joe Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, called upon the Corzine Administration to join 45 other states in the nation and abandon the state-enforced ban on retail coupons for milk. Senator Pennacchio has introduced legislation to end the ban on retail milk coupons (S-2772), which is now pending in the Senate Commerce Committee. This is the second release in a continuing series, concerning laws, rules and regulations that hurt consumers and businesses in New Jersey.
New Jersey Unemployment Surges to 9.2%
Senator Joe Kyrillos, senior Republican on the Senate Economic Growth Committee, said today’s report that New Jersey’s unemployment rate surged to 9.2 percent in June shows the state is paying a terrible price for Trenton’s inexcusable neglect of economic development over the last eight years. In addition to having the highest unemployment rate in the region, Kyrillos noted that New Jersey led the nation in new jobless claims during the week of June 27.
New Jersey’s taxpayers deserve the ability to see for themselves exactly how their money is being spent. Beyond that, they deserve a clear, accurate and timely explanation of how Recovery Act funds will produce positive results in the effort to restore New Jersey’s economy.
The unfulfilled promise of transparency on Governor Corzine’s federal stimulus website, http://www.recovery.nj.gov/
Senator Joe Pennacchio, prime sponsor of the Transparency in Government Act, issued the following statement about the governor’s unmet promise of transparency in the spending of $17 billion in federal stimulus funds, and urged the governor immediately to show county-by-county, community-by-community and project-by-project how he expects stimulus money to be allocated and spent in New Jersey:
“Governor Corzine’s federal stimulus Web site is very attractive, but almost useless to busy taxpayers,” Senator Pennacchio said. “Messages remind us that taxpayers have every right to know on a timely basis how their stimulus money is being spent, but where’s the beef?”
Five-Year Anniversary of Unnecessary Government Meddling in Private Sector
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Essex/Union/Somerset/Morris) called on New Jersey’s ruling Democrats to move legislation to lift the ban on “Ladies’ Night” promotions and to join with Republicans to combat the growth of government policies that only serve to stifle economic growth and job creation.
Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblyman Daniel M. Van Pelt have introduced legislation (S-2980/A-4153) that would require the Attorney General to provide a means for notification by electronic mail when a sex offender listed on the Internet Registry registers a new address in a different county or zip code from the offender’s previous address.
Senator Kevin O’Toole, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, called on Governor Corzine to expand the mandate of his Commission on the Horse Racing Industry to include finding solutions to the problems of New Jersey’s entire sports entertainment industry. O’Toole expressed alarm over published reports that New Jersey’s sports entertainment industry is near collapse. Horse racing, pro-football, basketball and hockey attractions are all facing economic and cultural challenges that were not evident a decade ago, threatening vitally needed jobs and economic growth during this recession.