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September 9, 2010

RE: Governor Christie’s New Reform Agenda

Dear Mayor:

As reported in the media, on Tuesday in Wayne Governor Christie announced that he wants the Legislature to enact his new Reform Agenda before adjournment for the Winter Holidays. The seriousness of the deadline is highlighted in a YouTube video, available at the Governor’s website at http://www.youtube.com/govchristie.

Announcement of “The Christie Reform Agenda: Bold Reform for a Stronger New Jersey,” which was also made in a Press Release, is available at
http://www.state.nj.us/governor/news/news/552010/approved/20100907a.html, includes: 

  • Ethics Reform: Creating A New Climate That Encourages Accountability And Results;
  • Pension & Benefits Reform: Taking Strong Action to Overhaul An Unreformed Pension and Benefits System On The Brink Of Insolvency;
  • Economic Development: Creating Quality Paying Jobs and Making New Jersey a Home for Growth; and,
  • Education Reform: Bringing Dramatic Change to a Costly System That is Failing Too Many of New Jersey's Children.

Yesterday, in Raritan Township, the Governor focused on Ethics Reform. (See his Press Release at
http://www.state.nj.us/governor/news/news/552010/approved/20100908b.html.)

Although actual bills are not yet available, among the proposals advanced yesterday by the Governor are:

• Omnibus ethics legislation which ends dual government employment and dual office holding, requires forfeiture of pensions by convicted public officials, prohibits use of campaign funds for criminal defense costs, and redefines conflict of interest for legislators by making recusal mandatory for direct financial conflict (no more self-evaluation to determine whether the member “feels” there is or is not a conflict) and strict disclosure of legislative conflicts of interest.

• A comprehensive legislative reform package which imposes a uniform standard for awarding contracts at all levels and branches of government in New Jersey, and expands the reach of the pay-to-play law to make public labor unions subject to the same contribution and disclosure obligations as other entities doing business with the State. The bill also restricts the practice of “wheeling,” or the transfer of political donations to circumvent campaign financing laws.

More detail on the Ethics Reform Agenda is included at http://www.state.nj.us/governor/news/news/552010/pdf/20100908-ethics/pdf.

We have been advised that the Governor will release more detail on his Pension and Benefit Reforms next week. We will keep you posted. If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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