Legislative mix-up gives New Jersey governor privatization power

| 6/25/2007

Although they didn’t plan to, New Jersey lawmakers have given Gov. Jon Corzine a free pass to get ready to lease or sell state assets, such as the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.

According to media reports, a 291-page budget bill the lawmakers were racing the clock to pass contained a few paragraphs authorizing the governor to do “what may be necessary” to privatize state highways.

Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck, R-Morganville, told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that the language was put in on the assumption the governor would present the legislature with a specific plan.

Beck says the plan never came – but the language somehow stayed in.

Beck said she’s asked governor Corzine to use his line-item powers to strike the language from the budget bill, but hadn’t heard back as of Monday, June 25.

– By Reed Black, staff writer