TRENTON – Seeking more accountability on the need and the financing of Governor Christie’s plan to spend $300 million to renovate the executive section of the State House, Senator Raymond Lesniak has scheduled a public hearing by the Senate Economic Growth Committee on Thursday, January 12th to get a more detailed explanation of the proposal.
“The governor made an announcement of his plan to spend $300 million to renovate the executive section of the State House without providing a full explanation of the importance of the renovations or its costs and he refused to answer any questions on the proposal,” said Senator Lesniak, who chairs the committee that has jurisdiction over the Economic Development Authority, which would issue the bonds to finance the project. “The public and the Legislature need to review a detailed plan for the construction work, with substantiation for the cost estimates, and the EDA needs to explain its role in taking on the debt without voter approval.”
For the hearing, Senator Lesniak has requested the participation of Ford Scutter, the State Treasurer; Melissa Orsen, the Chief Executive Officer of EDA; Dominique Hawkins, Founder and CEO of Preservation Design Partnership, among others.
“This proposal also needs to be judged in the broader context of New Jersey’s spending priorities,” Senator Lesniak said. “For seven years, this administration has refused to support a wide range of critical needs to help the disadvantaged, to house the homeless, to feed the hungry, to aid the disabled and to provide health care to women, and now the governor suddenly wants to spend $300 million to renovate the governor’s office and other executive offices. Even if the project has merit, there is a legitimate debate on where it ranks among other needs.”
The Senate Economic Growth Committee will hold the public hearing on the proposed State House renovations on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 10:30 AM in Committee Room 1, First Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, New Jersey.