New Jersey State Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Morris, Hunterdon), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement today following Governor Christie's announcement that he would support full funding of temporary, transitional aid in the FY 2012 Budget as long as appropriate oversight of the program is restored. Senator Oroho is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 3009 that would strengthen, by state statute, the State’s oversight of municipalities that receive additional aid:
"State aid must be awarded equitably, whether through the Transitional Aid Program, education aid or regular municipal aid. Given our current financial circumstances we need to make sure every tax dollar is spent effectively and efficiently.
"Transitional Aid, formerly known as Special Municipal Aid, operated under the radar, without accountability, criteria, application standards or even an application form for far too long. Needed oversight was enhanced 18 months ago and we have already seen meaningful improvements in the program from reducing vendor fees to preventing inappropriate and unqualified hires.
"I support the Governor's efforts to restore meaningful oversight of this program that is intended to be temporary and put struggling cities on a path of self-sustainability."