The Republican members of the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee continued their push for transparency in the budget process with a new call for Governor Phil Murphy to fully explain the hundreds of millions of pork spending in the FY 2022 State Budget he will sign into law this morning.
Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24), Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13), Senator Michael Testa (R-1), and Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) sent a letter to Governor Murphy (click here for PDF) calling for the immediate release of budget resolutions and other materials that might explain the purpose for hundreds of millions of dollars of so-called pork spending that was added by Democratic legislators to the budget immediately before it was voted on and approved by the Legislature in party line votes last week.
The Republican senators included a small sample of pork add-ons (click here for PDF) included by Democrats in the budget that have not been explained publicly.
The full text of the letter to Governor Murphy is below:
Dear Governor Murphy:
We are writing this letter asking that you immediately share all budget resolutions or other material in your, or your Administration’s, possession that explain line items of a parochial nature (commonly referred to as pork) added to the Appropriations Act and that were not included in your proposed budget.
The public has a right to know how their money is being spent. Alternatively, if their governor approves hundreds of millions of dollars of what appears to be pork without knowing what it is and without a basis for why it is worthy of their tax dollars, they have a right to know that too.
In recent days you have suggested there is no pork in the budget you have been asked to sign, and so we attach the following items as examples of the line items related to this request.
Finally, please treat this request as a formal request for government records pursuant to the Open Public Records Act and provide a response immediately — as is statutorily required for financial record requests.
Steven V. Oroho
Declan J. O’Scanlon, Jr.
Michael L. Testa, Jr.