Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said he is pleased by executive orders that Governor Chris Christie signed today to revive the state’s economy, help businesses create jobs, and bring refreshing openness and accountability to government.
“These steps show that New Jersey citizens have chosen well and voted in a man of character and decisiveness,” Senator Kean said.
“On his first day on the job, Governor Christie used his first executive orders to take absolutely critical steps to get New Jersey’s economy moving and create jobs,” Senator Kean said. “He showed we have a governor who will pay more than lip service to openness and accountability in government.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean congratulated Governor Christie for making the Transparency in Government Act among his first Executive Orders. The Executive Order, which has the force of law, will create a searchable, easy-to-use Web site that taxpayers can use to track government spending.
“It’s been more than a year since I introduced this vitally needed legislation, yet without a full court press from former Corzine Administration, it failed to pass during the last session,” Pennacchio stated. “Today with the stroke of his pen Governor Christie made transparency in government the order of the day.”
Autistic adults and children will be protected from discrimination because a bill championed by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean of Westfield was signed into law today. The bill amends the state’s law against discrimination so that autism disorders are recognized causes of disabilities.
“Autistic residents will now receive the same protections as other disabled citizens from discrimination in access to housing, employment and public accommodations such as theaters, stores and restaurants,” Senator Kean said.
Senator Kevin O’Toole, R-Bergen, Passaic and Essex, praised Governor-Elect Chris Christie for his sensitive, intelligent and non-partisan decision to let Jennifer Velez continue her outstanding service to the people of New Jersey as Commissioner of the Department of Human Services.
“Governor Christie has demonstrated again that his administration, first and last, will be about competence and dedication to public service,” O’Toole said. “Jennifer Velez has served both Republican and Democrat administrations with unsurpassed passion and ability. She is the best choice to head the biggest agency in state government, and I applaud Governor-elect Christie for recognizing this fact.”
Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris/Passaic) said he is “beyond frustrated” that Governor Corzine’s ‘transparency’ website isn’t user friendly for taxpayers.
“The site provides only the vaguest information on how government money is spent, and nothing on who gets the taxes and fees collected from state residents,” Pennacchio said. “It also does nothing to help taxpayers track how billions of dollars of federal aid are spent by state and local governments, who gets billions of dollars in aid to schools and municipalities, or how hundreds of millions of dollars in tolls and fees collected by sports, highway, port and bridge authorities are doled out.
Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the state Budget and Appropriations Committee, said he was outraged but not surprised by the decision of the Local Finance Board to rush through $121 million in ‘Special’ Municipal Aid grants.
“In past years, the board awarded these grants in April or May,” Oroho said. “Clearly, the Corzine administration is afraid that this process would not survive the scrutiny of a new governor who demands people play by the rules when handing out taxpayer money.”
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean hailed Governor-elect Christie’s selection of Bob Martin as Environmental Protection Commissioner and former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler as Education Commissioner. These Cabinet-level positions are among the most important positions in the state, and Christie has chosen well, Senator Kean said.
“With these nominations, Governor Christie again has demonstrated his deep understanding of the most important needs of our state and his willingness to wholeheartedly embrace the change we need in Trenton,” Senator Kean said.
Senator Steve Oroho, Republican member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, said he was outraged that the Joint Budget Oversight Committee approved Governor Corzine’s last-minute deal to give $121 million to just five, chronically mismanaged cities.
“The governor is spending $121 million the state just doesn’t have, and he is spending it on cities that have demonstrated year after frustrating year that they can’t be trusted with taxpayers’ money,” Oroho said. “Governor Corzine has provided zero evidence that this is the best way to spend these precious dollars during the worst economic downturn in 80 years.”
Last Minute Giveaways of Tens of Millions of Dollars to Favored Towns by Corzine Breaks Back of State Budget and Comes at Time of School Aid Cuts
Senator Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, is condemning Governor Corzine’s planned giveaway tomorrow of tens of millions of dollars to the politically connected municipalities of Camden, Paterson, Union City, and Bridgeton through the arbitrary and mismanaged Special Municipal Aid Program. Award of aid to the towns has been scheduled for a vote at tomorrow’s meeting of the Local Finance Board at the Department of Community Affairs at 10 AM.
Senator Joe Pennacchio, prime sponsor of the Transparency in Government Act, and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean urged Governor Jon Corzine to use all his influence to help win passage of the Transparency in Government Act during the lame-duck session. This bill, which is also sponsored by Senate President Richard Codey, will create a searchable, easy-to-use Web site that taxpayers can use to track government spending. Governor Corzine has said in the past that he supports this bill, which cleared the Senate State Government Committee today.
“It’s been more than a year since I introduced this vitally needed legislation, yet without a full court press from Democrat leaders, its passage is far from assured during this session,” Pennacchio said. “Governor Corzine needs to use all his influence to help push this through a Legislature controlled by his party.”