Following a hearing on Governor Christie’s FY 2012 proposed budget appropriations for healthcare, Republican Members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today praised the administration for maintaining quality healthcare services for those in need:
“The Administration’s proposed budget maintains New Jersey’s commitment to providing access to quality healthcare for those most in need. No amount of politically heated rhetoric can change the fact that this budget proposal increases Charity Care funding by $10 million to $675 million, fully funds PAAD for seniors, or invests $90 million in Graduate Medical Education for our next generation of healthcare providers.
Legislation Enacts State Comptroller’s Recommendation
In response to a report by the State Comptroller critical of the contracting procedures used by Rutgers University, Senators Jennifer Beck (R- Monmouth/Mercer) and Michael J. Doherty (R- Warren/Hunterdon) have submitted legislation subjecting Rutgers University to the same open public bidding and contracting procedures required of all other state colleges and universities.
“Whatever the rationale for excluding Rutgers from open bidding and contracting standards applies virtually everywhere else in the public sector, it is clear that the exclusion must end,” said Beck. “The Comptroller’s report reveals a startling tendency toward favoritism of certain vendors that is unacceptable when public dollars are at stake.”
Senate Republican Budget Committee Members: “Senate Democrats Must Stop Defending Indefensible on Sick Leave Payouts”
South Brunswick Borrowed $500K to Pay 18 Retiring Employees
Five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today asked the Majority Democrats to stop defending the continuation of grotesquely large sick leave payouts to public employees:
“This is simply a waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. We are baffled as to why the Majority continues to defend the indefensible. It is totally incomprehensible why they would go to such great lengths to protect this sort of abuse of the taxpayers.”
Doherty: Democrat Leadership Must Move On Bill to Remove Private Entities from the Public Pension Funds
Senator Michael Doherty (R- Warren, Hunterdon), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, renewed his call today to move legislation that would bar members of private organizations from enrolling in the state pension system. The bill would ban members of the State League of Municipalities, the School Boards Association, the Association of Counties and several others from participating in any of the state’s pension and health benefits systems.
“For nearly a year, common sense legislation that would bar employees of private entities has languished in both houses of the Legislature. The bills, S-2174/A-2951 which members on both sides of the aisles support, are currently stalled in the State Government Committees of their respective houses.
Republican Members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Call for Action on Higher Education Reforms
Four Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco and Senators Steve Oroho, Joe Pennacchio and Mike Doherty called for swift action on higher education “toolkit” reforms proposed by Governor Chris Christie to help improve the affordability of public colleges and universities. The measures are supported by the Governor’s Higher Education Task Force Chairman, former Governor Tom Kean.
Both Sides of the Aisle Praise Commissioner Simpson’s Efforts
The five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee issued the following statement complimenting the Christie Administration’s transportation plan.
“New Jersey’s interconnected transportation network is critical to the economic well-being of this state. In this tough budget environment it is difficult to provide the necessary resources to adequately maintain our transportation infrastructure.
“The FY ’12 Capital Program appropriation provides $3.5 billion in funds to keep our roads, bridges and trains in good condition. These monies are appropriated without any new taxes or additional borrowing.
The five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee agreed today with Governor Christie, Attorney General Dow and former Governor Corzine that the provision requiring early release of inmates in the law be immediately repealed:
“It is unfortunate that the commitment that former Governor Corzine received to repeal this ill-conceived provision of the law was not honored. In fact, Governor Corzine at the time he signed the bill, issued a signing statement that reads in part; ‘that the provision of the bill that would require parole release six months before the maximum expiration of the sentence in cases where the No Early Release Act does not apply, will be removed through immediate remedial legislation.’
The five Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee lauded the Governor’s commitment to quality, affordable, higher education in New Jersey as evidenced by the work of Governor Christie’s Higher Education Task Force. The Senators called for immediate hearings to consider the Task Force’s recommendations:
“It is critically important that we take immediate steps to moderate the rise in tuition rates in New Jersey. The Senate would greatly benefit from immediate hearings on the report and from the Task Force’s chairman, Former Governor Thomas Kean.”
Republican Members of Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Praise Administration for Fiscal Discipline
The Republican members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee agreed with State Treasurer Sidamon-Eristoff that continued fiscal discipline is required to continued New Jersey’s recovery from the most severe recession in more than 70 years. The Republican members of the Committee are: Senators Bucco, Oroho, Pennacchio, O’Toole and Doherty.
“The testimony presented by the State Treasurer clearly shows that, while we have a long way to go on the road to recovery, the Administration’s commitment to fiscal discipline is working. The state revenue picture is better, and more stable, today than it was just one year ago in the midst of the worst recession our state has seen in 70 years.”
Senator Michael Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Warren) announced today the list of New Jersey Department of Transportation capital construction projects in Warren and Hunterdon Counties. The 11 projects account for $18.7 million of transportation infrastructure improvements in Warren and Hunterdon Counties:
“A modern, comprehensive and well-maintained transportation infrastructure is essential to our economic competitiveness,” Doherty stated. “Up-to-date roads and bridges are safer and more efficient, adding value to private property and convenience to middle-class families throughout northwestern New Jersey.”