Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean responded to news reports that indicate Governor Jon Corzine?s decision to grant contract concessions will raise the cost of government for New Jersey taxpayers by tens of millions of dollars over the next few years. The sudden and unexpected concessions came, newspapers reported, after threats were made to picket a Corzine campaign ?kickoff? where Vice President Joseph Biden was the keynote speaker. A final estimate of the costs will be made if and when the governor makes public the terms of the agreement, but the terms listed in news accounts suggest that the concessions will cost taxpayers at least $40 million, Kean said.
?Taxpayers should send a bill for $40 million to the Corzine campaign for the Biden bailout,? Kean said. ?They should send another for the full amount if the governor ever releases a final, honest tally of these added expenses.?
The Associated Press reported that state workers will get an additional seven paid days off after 2010 because of Corzine?s Biden concessions. Each day off costs taxpayers approximately $3 million in additional overtime. Corzine also agreed to drop a furlough day in June that Governor said would save the state $17 million.
The public deserves to know how the governor now plans to balance this year?s budget without the June furlough, Kean said. Legislators shouldn?t vote on the 2010 budget until they have a full accounting of how many billions of dollars the governor?s Biden wage concessions, pension deferrals, debt gimmicks and delays in educational aid payments will cost taxpayers now and in the years ahead, Kean said.
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