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Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Cross Section of NJ Municipalities Endorse “Transparency in Government Act”

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State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) released a list of New Jersey municipalities who have endorsed S-445. The “Tranparency in Government Act” would establish a State public finance website which retains and displays data and information on the State’s annual revenues, expenditures and total bonded indebtedness. The bill establishes an accessible, user friendly source of information to track State revenues and expenditures and to gauge its past and present levels of indebtedness. The original letter to the state’s mayors is attached

Pennacchio, who contends the best way to force government to be honest and fiscally prudent with taxpayer dollars is for the public to know exactly where their money is being spent, stated “If the state expends a ‘dime,’ I want people to know where this ‘dime’ went.” The following municipalities have endorsed S-445:

Borough of Bloomsbury
Town of Boonton
Corbin City
East Amwell Township
Borough of Fair Lawn
Borough of Far Hills
Borough of Farmingdale
Borough of Florham Park
Town of Hackettstown
Township of Lincoln Park
City of Linden
Township of Manchester
Margate City
Township of Pequannock
Township of Robbinsville
Borough of Roselle Park
Township of Roxbury
Borough of Sussex
Township of Union
City of Wildwood
Borough of Woodcliff Lake

June 19, 2008

Dear Mayor:

All too often we hear the clamor of eliminating waste, fraud and abuse. However, unless we are able to identify any and all State spending, the efforts to “eliminate” waste, fraud and abuse are made almost impossible. To identify our State’s spending, we have to make it transparent for all to see.

Therefore, I have introduced S-445, the “Transparency in Government Act, ” which provides for the establishment of a State public finance website which retains and displays data and information on the State’s annual revenues, expenditures and total bonded indebtedness. This bill establishes an accessible, user-friendly source of information to track State revenues and expenditures and to gauge its past and present levels of indebtedness. That includes information such as contractual service purchases, salaries and wages, gifts and grants and bonded obligations. This information must be accessible to the public no later than 45 days following the close of each fiscal year.

The bill also helps to facilitate a bi-partisan approach to improving transparency, identifying waste, and eliminating abuse at each level of State government. Additionally, S-445 provides for the establishment of the Public Finance Transparency Committee in order to facilitate the organization, development and maintenance of the website. The bottom line is, if the State is spending a dime, you are going to know where – quickly and easily.

If you agree that the State should provide a website where the public can view and track fiscal matters in the State of New Jersey, I ask that you pass a resolution in (town) supporting the “Transparency in Government Act.” I also encourage your county and municipality to take the fiscally prudent lead and establish individual “transparent” websites detailing any and all spending. A sample resolution is enclosed for your consideration. Thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely yours,
Joe Pennacchio

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