$300 Million State House Renovation? Lesniak wants a public hearing

statehouse-nj-trenton-tls-prSenator Raymond Lesniak, the chairman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee, today called for a public hearing on Governor Christie’s plan to spend $300 million to renovate portions of the New Jersey State House, saying that the initiative “demands a more detailed explanation,” including an explanation on how the added debt would be repaid.

As chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Economic Development Authority, Senator Lesniak said a public hearing is needed to determine the source of repayment of the $300 million in borrowing by NJEDA, its legal authority without seeking the public’s approval, and detailed plans and costs of the renovation that Governor Christie withheld at his press conference announcing it.

“The governor wants to spend $300 million in borrowed money for State House renovations but he has provided little to no specifics on how it will be paid for and what exactly he’ll be spending the money on,” said Senator Lesniak. “He’s acting unilaterally and it isn’t clear whether he can issue new debt without the voters’ approval. Even if there is merit to the renovations, the governor is refusing to be accountable to the public or responsible in his planning.”

Senator Lesniak noted that New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2008 that generally bars the state from taking on new debt without voter approval. Though it did include several exceptions, it raises questions about the legal authority of the governor to impose this new debt on the public without their approval.

Senator Lesniak said that he would like to see a committee hearing scheduled early in the New Year.


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  1. This is typical Trenton politics, Christie gets a book deal worth millions, the good old boys get big pay raises for themselves and their friends.
    Time to remember this next November, time to dump the trash in Trenton.

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