Christie administration Recommends Massive Privatization Of N.J. Services; To Include Vehicle Inspections, Turnpike Tolls And More

christieNew Jersey would close its centralized car inspection lanes and motorists would pay for their own emissions tests under a sweeping set of recommendations set to be released by the Christie administration today. State parks, psychiatric hospitals and even Turnpike toll booths could also be run by private operators, according to the 57-page report on privatization obtained by The Star-Ledger. Preschool classrooms would no longer be built at public expense, state employees would pay for parking and private vendors would dish out food, deliver health care and run education programs behind prison walls.

All told, the report says, New Jersey could save at least $210 million a year by delivering an array of services through private hands.

“The question has to be, ‘Why do you continue to operate in a manner that’s more costly and less effective?’ rather than, ‘Why change?’” said Richard Zimmer, the former Republican congressman who chaired the task force that wrote the report.

It is unclear how many of the recommendations will be adopted by Gov. Chris Christie, who commissioned the report in March. Christie’s spokesman declined comment Thursday.

But the car inspection proposal is sure to stir up controversy in a state with a tortured history of privatizing emissions testing.

The report says that beginning next July, “New Jersey should withdraw entirely from direct participation in the vehicle inspection process.” Before then, the state would develop a plan to certify service stations and other shops “to make the transition seamless for motorists and assure that private inspection fees will be transparent and reasonable.”

The state would then sell the land where its facilities now operate.

Full story in Star Ledger.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Please don’t make pay for my car inspection! It’s enough that I have to register it every year. Just do away with the inspections altogether.

  2. when the state sells off its assets, the tolls for the roads and the fees for the services always go up, but because they are not state owned the state does not look bad for the rate increases. nice politics.

  3. To 3 – thinking Jew – I agree with you.

    And to continue on —-
    …Preschool classrooms would no longer be built at public expense… However, they will probably be tax exempt no matter who owns then.

    …state employees would pay for parking… the employees will DEMAND a raise to pay for the parking.

    …private vendors would dish out food, deliver health care and run education programs behind prison walls… and the vendors who are picked will undoubtedly be (pick one) related, friends with, owed a favor by, whoever is in charge of the hiring. This is NJ.

  4. if you first 4 commenters havent heard the news, theres a new sherrif in town and there is great reason to be optimistic. Not everything he does will prove to be the right step in the long run, but it is obvious to everyone not on the public dole, that the gov takes his job of bringing fiscal sanity to this great state very seriously. if we the taxpayer have to support more state jobs with the benefits they get after they finish working for the state which are unheard of in the private sector we will continue in our economic decline. So lets give him the opportunity to change the way this state has been run and maybe our children and grandchildren will inherit a state with a black balance sheet.

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