In an effort to prevent what he sees as wasteful spending, Gov. Chris Christie Friday again exercised his veto authority by rejecting the minutes of the April 26 meeting of the South Jersey Port Corporation for its approval of $3,036.80 in expenses.
Most of the amount, $1,705.89 went for “wining and dining,” according to the governor’s office.
Christie said that, while he recognized the importance of generating new business, the SJPC is not private industry and is subsidized by the state and taxpayer dollars.
“These are not expenses that the taxpayers of New Jersey should be expected to bear,” the governor wrote in his veto letter to SJPC Director Joseph A. Balzano. “It is incumbent upon SJPC to create innovative ways of attracting business to the SJPC without incurring unnecessary expenditures inappropriate for the public sector.”
The $3,036.80 was approved for payment of the Operating Unpaid Bill List and Expense Report for the period of March 17 to April 13. The amount included two restaurant expenditures totaling $1,705.89, each in excess of $800 and including alcohol.
The veto letter noted that a review by the Governor’s Authorities Unit of previously submitted expense reports approved by the SJPC board for business development also “shows other excessive restaurant bills including alcohol.”
The veto is the twenty-second exercised by Christie in his effort to alter spending and budgeting practices by New Jersey authorities, commissions and boards over which he has veto authority.
A bill before the legislature would expand that veto authority to numerous other semi-autonomous state entities. The Democratic-controlled Legislature, however, has not moved the proposal.
—TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM