Tags: US | Aid | to | Cities | New | Jersey

GOP Cries Foul Over Aid to Select N.J. Cities

Monday, 11 Jan 2010 08:15 PM

 

New Jersey lawmakers agreed to transfer $44 million into a special account for distressed cities, despite objections from Republicans, including incoming Gov. Chris Christie.

The transfer approved Monday by the Joint Budget Operating Committee paves the way for another agency, the Local Finance Board, to distribute the money — along with $72 million already on hand — to five cities that requested special help.

The Local Finance Board is scheduled to meet Wednesday.

Camden would get $67 million in aid; Paterson, $27 million; Jersey City, $14 million; Union City, $11.3 million; and Bridgeton, $2.25 million.

Also Monday, the Assembly approved a bill that would return most Camden city operations to local control. The state has been overseeing financial affairs of the impoverished city since 2002. The bill would return broad control over the city's day-to-day operations to the city's elected mayor. The Senate is scheduled to consider the bill.

Last week, the city installed a new mayor, former state Sen. Dana Redd.

Christie, who takes office Jan. 19, reacted angrily to the monetary transfer, accusing Gov. Jon Corzine of spending money the state doesn't have on his way out the door. Christie said cities need to learn to budget responsibly, not expect annual bailouts from the state.

"I object to the Corzine administration shoveling money out the door at the eleventh hour when they realize what the state's fiscal condition is," Christie said. "Special extraordinary municipal aid is the biggest misnomer in state government you can find. When you give it every year, it's neither special or extraordinary."

Christie said the joint budget committee's approval brings the state $44 million closer to insolvency.

The governor-elect did not rule out stopping the checks after he takes office.

"I will consider every option on the table once I get there, but I'm not going to telegraph my punch," Christie said.

Treasury spokesman Tom Vincz said the current budget remains balanced — with a surplus of about $500 million — with the Corzine-authorized transfer taken into account.

Also, Susan Jacobucci, director of Local Government Services for the Department of Community Affairs, said that without the aid, the cities could be forced to lay off police and firefighters, putting residents at risk, and would be in danger of losing federal aid.

Department spokesman Edwin Carman said the fund was intended to offset expenses, and thus give property tax relief, to cities in fiscal distress. He said the aid allows the municipalities to continue to provide essential services.

He said the aid comes with strict oversight and all towns that receive it are required to sign a memorandum of understanding.

Assemblyman Joseph Malone, a Republican on the joint budget committee, said he would suggest that Christie seek the resignations of finance board members who approve the distribution of the aid.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Donald Trump: 'I Will Take Full Credit' for Romney Dropping Out

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 22:11 PM

A week ago, just before and during the Iowa Freedom Summit, real estate mogul Donald Trump was quick to call out two-tim . . .

Jim Webb: Dems Must Rediscover 'White Working People'

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 21:47 PM

Democrats have lost touch with working-class whites who mattered to presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Trum . . .

GOP Leaders Discuss 'What's Next?' After Romney Exit

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 20:35 PM

Almost to a person, state Republican chairmen and members of the Republican National Committee voiced relief at Mitt Rom . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved