That is S-3156 which I wrote about two days ago. It passed despite of the fact that opening up the rest of the rural areas of the state to building and paving will do nothing for the economy. Yes some developments may pop up here and there but nothing will be like sustainable growth and there will be increased burdens on our roads, waterways, and sewage treatment plants.
Furthermore, this removes the focus from any effort to revitalize our cities – the only ones with transportation hubs. In fact, the state has a program to rebuild around transportation hubs but this new bill counteracts its effects.
We could say that the government is undoing with one hand what it does with the other.
The problem with the economy is not lack of space to build. It is the economic fundamentals that are not there and the government is consuming resources which should be going into economic revitalization.
This is S3173; Also called the Urban Hope Act is nothing less than financing, with public funds, the construction and operation of private schools in some of the failing districts. In other words, it is privatization-of-education-plus, where all the capital is public and all the profits are private. It is simply scandalous. One of the main beneficiaries is George Norcross, a democrat powerbroker in southern New Jersey. The proponent of the bill in the senate was his brother Donald. Call it family ties.
The argument behind the passage was that courts mandated construction of new schools in urban areas but the School Development Authority dragged its feet so the private sector was summoned to the rescue. I believe that the SDA was halted to give the excuse to bring in the privateers and award the contracts to them.
Read this line very carefully: No competitive bidding is required by the law!!! This is the most brazen sacking of the public coffers I have ever seen.
The NJEA support for the bill was bought by agreeing to collective bargaining and tenure. Christie has been pushing tenure reform not so much to reform tenure but to force the teachers union to endorse privatization. The union swallowed the hook with sinker and all. Now they have lost all credibility. That union is toast.
On the other hand, good bills were ignored: Support for energy conservation projects, or reducing the amount of pesticides applied on playgrounds (yes, where our kids play) .
Other good bills that were discarded: Increasing the state’s target for renewable energy from 22.5 percent to 30 percent, and a bill that would have prevented the governor from withdrawing New Jersey from a regional program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Both chambers of the legislature are controlled by the democrats but what difference does that make? Nothing, none. The pantomime of the two parties is over. The masks are off.
Assemblyman DeCcroce died in the bathroom at the end of the long session and 23 years in the assembly. My condolences to the family but, 23 YEARS! It is like a bloody dynasty. We need term limits in the legislature as we have in the executive branch or they are going to ruin us all.