Republicans seek info on Corzine plan

| Monday, July 02, 2007

Even though New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine now says he won’t lease any toll roads to private operators, a group of Republicans in the state’s legislature are trying to force him to reveal what he’s planning.

GOP members of the state Senate have filed a Freedom of Information request to get copies of IRS documents the state filed in connection with the turnpike and other toll roads.

On Friday, June 29, the official Web site of the Senate’s Republican members reported that last week, Sen. Tom Kean, R-Union, sent a letter to New Jersey Treasurer Brad Abelow asking for details about $4.6 million of taxpayer money that Kean and other Republicans contend has already been spent to study a potential sale of the Turnpike and other state assets.

“For three months the administration has been promising it would soon put its proposal before the public, now it wants to delay that discussion until after the November elections,” Kean said in a statement on the Senate Republicans’ Web site.

“The public has a right to know those details now. Like most New Jersey residents, I am skeptical about any proposal that includes financial gimmicks to mortgage away future revenues through a sale of the state’s assets. Motorists will get slammed with huge toll increases and the windfall will quickly be squandered.”

Corzine, who is said to now favor a non-profit, state-controlled agency to run the toll roads, said everyone will hear about his plan once it’s ready.

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