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Senator Weinberg On Corzine’s Ethics Reform Package

Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen)

TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg, a long-time proponent of governmental transparency and ethics reform, today voiced her support for Governor Corzine’s decision to address some of the major ethical issues plaguing New Jersey’s political landscape.

“It is time that we as Legislators, are truly held accountable for our actions here in Trenton, and in our respective districts,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate State Government Committee. “The decisions we make affect the people of New Jersey as a whole, and I am glad that Governor Corzine and his Administration have decided to join in the effort for ethical transparency and reform in New Jersey.”

Senator Weinberg said she looks forward to sponsoring some of her bills that were recommended today, and she is also eager to have some of the bills that are already in the system considered in the near future.

This session, Senator Weinberg sponsored a number of bills aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in government.

One measure, S-103, which was signed into law on September 9, amended the “Local Government Ethics Law,” to require local government officials to turn in financial disclosure forms within 30 days of taking office.

Some of Senator Weinberg’s bills aimed at bringing real ethics reform to the state also include:

S1020 – prohibits redevelopers from taking advantage of a loophole in current eminent domain redevelopment procedures by funding campaigns to reap the rewards of contracts, preferential treatment and influence;

S1024 – would sharply reduce the process known as “wheeling” which allows political parties to skirt campaign contribution limits by making contributions to different political accounts, which in turn, get filtered back into the initial campaign;

S97 – The State Authorities Reform Act would combat the “shadow government” of independent state authorities by, among other things, requiring an annual outside audit and reforming procurement procedures;

S930 – The Party Democracy Act, which requires county political parties to act in accordance with their bylaws, use an independent secret ballot and to make membership lists available to the public.

S2099 – will prevent abuse of our pension system by requiring that appointed officials work a 35 hour week to obtain health and pension benefits.

All five bills are currently awaiting Committee approval in the Senate.