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Van Drew, Albano And Milam: New Report Shows Need To Revamp Drug And Alcohol Addiction Services

Comptroller’s Findings Call into Question Spending by Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

(1st Legislative District) –Senator Jeff Van Drew and Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matt Milam today said they would explore introducing legislation to revamp the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse after the state comptroller found the agency hands out grants without proper review.

The comptroller’s report found $10 million annually intended for drug and alcohol prevention and education have been used to pay for items such as petting zoos and community fairs.

“Alcohol and drug addiction are painful plagues on our society, and to see money meant to combat them being used frivolously is extremely upsetting,” said Van Drew. “Hard-earned tax dollars must be spent with proper oversight.”

Milam said the audit is especially worrisome in these tough economic times.

“No time is right to misuse public money, but this is particularly troublesome,” Milam said. “With the state facing severe budget woes and the need to cut spending, it’s appalling to see money be misspent so severely.”

The lawmakers (all D-Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland) lauded Comptroller Matthew Boxer and his office for uncovering the waste.

“This group has no business spending $2,500 on a petting zoo,” Albano said. “What’s been going on here is just completely unacceptable.”