Norcross Calls Turnpike Spending Abuses ‘Outright Offensive’

TRENTON – Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) released the following statement on the report issued today by the State Comptroller detailing more than $40 million in abuse of public dollars at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority:

“The type of irresponsible spending the state comptroller found at the Turnpike Authority is beyond waste – it’s absolute abuse of the system.

“When a publicly-funded authority doles out snow removal bonuses, birthday bonuses, longevity bonuses and holiday bonuses on top of double pay – when an employee retires with an authority payout of nearly five times his annual base salary – there is something very, very wrong.

“What is most disturbing is that the Turnpike Authority footed the bill for these perks with toll payers’ money, while at the same time allowing its own employees to ride the Turnpike and Parkway for free – ultimately picking up the tab for nearly half a million dollars in tolls for its workers. That’s outright offensive.

“My ‘Government Reality Check Act’ would end a host of abuses at public authorities – including ending free E-ZPass for authority employees. And today, I asked staff to review the recommendations put forth by the comptroller to determine what additional legislation is needed to crack down on these reported abuses.

“The bottom line is this: We shouldn’t have to legislate common-sense spending practices for authorities, unfortunately though, left to their own devices, they continue to come up with very creative ways to game the system.”