Judge sides with Corzine; governor doesn’t have to reveal toll plans

| Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey will not have to make public his plans for leveraging state toll roads to increase revenue.                                            

The Corzine administration paid $887,000 for a consulting firm to analyze how the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, Atlantic City Expressway and New Jersey Route 400 could generate more revenue for the state.

Corzine has yet to make public whether he will pursue the “monetization” of the assets through possible leases to private investors.

State Republican leaders filed a lawsuit Sept. 27 in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Mercer County, demanding that Corzine reveal the results of the report immediately. The plaintiffs stated that the public had a right to know the contents of the report.

But Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg, who earlier had indicated she sided with Corzine, made it official in a ruling on Monday, Nov. 26, that the report could remain a secret because it was still a “draft” and not a final document.

“As long as the governor abstains from making a final determination to monetize or not to monetize the toll roads, the reports remain pre-decisional,” Feinberg wrote.

Attorneys for the defense said the governor intends to make his plans public “in the next few months.”

Corzine has stated publicly on his Web site that he intends to have 21 public meetings in 21 town halls in the New Year to promote his transportation agenda.

– By Land Line staff

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