TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) to prevent the unnecessary use of public dollars at the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, which operates 20 bi-state bridges, was approved unanimously today by the Senate Transportation Committee.
The bill (S-2350) is associated with the Government Reality Check Act, and part of a five-bill package aimed at preventing spending and ethics abuses within all public bodies in New Jersey – from the Governor’s Office and the Legislature, to local governments, colleges, school districts and independent authorities. The reform bills would eliminate or sharply curtail spending associated with everything from official perks such as luxury car stipends and housing allowances to personal drivers and government-issued credit cards. They would impose strict new ethics rules, such as a revolving-door policy banning officials from working with certain private employers for two years after leaving their government job, and create new standards of transparency and accountability.
“For too long, government has been allowed to operate as if it had an endless line of credit, paying for everything from luxury cars to personal drivers on the public’s dime. It’s time to cut up the government credit card, and to require government at all levels to live within its means,” said Senator Norcross. “That means eliminating the waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars resulting from patronage, perks and other excess spending. This bill is the first in a package that will rein in unnecessary spending across government and ensure that entities that take in tax and toll dollars are held accountable to the people they serve.”