New Jersey Senate Republican Budget Officer Tony Bucco (R-Morris), called on Governor Corzine to explain recent double digit pay increases for political appointees in his administration. At a Senate Budget hearing this morning, the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services could not explain double digit raises in that department and promised to get back to the committee with an answer.
“It’s past time for Governor Corzine to get rid of political appointees and reverse the double digit pay raises he gave out while telling everyone else to sacrifice,” said Bucco.
In the Department of Health and Senior Services, from January 2008 to January 2009:
A legislative Liaison was shifted into the title of Confidential Assistant and received a more than 30%, $20,000 pay increase to $85,000.
A Confidential Secretary was shifted to Executive Secretarial Assistant and received a 13%, $9,000 raise to $77,000.
An Aide to the Governor was shifted to the department as a Government Rep 1 and received a 12%, $8,000 raise to $80,000 in the process.
And in the last three months:
An Assistant Commissioner received a $12,000, 10% raise to $129,000.
A Secretary to the Commissioner received a 10%, $7,500 raise to $83,000.
Other departments have awarded similar pay increases.
Every year under the Corzine administration, Republicans have been calling for the Governor to eliminate political appointees and tone down raises as a way to save money. He dismissed such proposals for years and recently stated he now embraces the ideas, but his actions tell another story.