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.”
Today, the Joint Budget Oversight Committee transferred $44 million into the ‘Special Municipal Aid’ account. The administration said New Jersey had “surplus” funds to expand aid to Jersey City, Paterson, Bridgeton, Camden, and Union City.
“Corzine is arguing that we have $44 million in surplus at the same time we have a $1 billion plus deficit this year and a projected $10 billion deficit next year,” Oroho said. “It’s incredible that this governor can expand the huge mess he’s leaving for the man that the majority of voters selected to replace him.”
Jersey City is embroiled in a corruption scandal that has led to indictments, Oroho pointed out. Audits have found mismanagement in some of the other cities. Rather than spend only what is necessary, these cities are using state aid to provide services and pay to government employees that other cities in New Jersey have been forced to reduce or eliminate, Oroho said.
“In a recession, people are willing to sacrifice for the greater good,” Oroho said. “They aren’t willing to do without in their own communities so that mismanagement can continue unabated in a handful of cities with outsized political clout.”