Monday, November 16, 2009

Christie: Freeze Additional Spending

Following is the complete text of a letter sent today from New Jersey Governor-elect Christopher Christie to Governor Jon Corzine.
The letter was hand delivered to the Governor's Office.

Dear Governor Corzine:
I am writing to follow-up on our conversation last week, and to thank you for your kind and gracious offer to take all possible steps to ensure a smooth and orderly transition. During that discussion, you indicated that you would be taking additional steps to address weak revenue collections that threaten to deplete this year’s planned budget surplus and aggravate next year’s multi-billion dollar structural budget deficit.
As you know, I am deeply concerned about the state of New Jersey’s economy and the effects that the deepening fiscal crisis for both fiscal years 2010 and year 2011 could have on New Jersey taxpayers. In order to prevent the crisis from worsening and budget hole we are in from deepening during this critical transition period, I respectfully request that you take the following actions:
1) Place all discretionary grant and state aid accounts, including, but not limited to, Special Municipal Aid and Extraordinary Aid, in reserve.
2) Freeze all new paid appointments and re-appointments to boards and commissions.
3) Line item veto any legislation with a fiscal impact on the State budget.
4) Veto all discretionary spending items in authority minutes.
5) Freeze all professional service, public relations, and consulting contracts.
6) Freeze all pending regulations that would incur additional spending.
7) Freeze all nonessential hires, promotions and raises.
8) Freeze all non-contractual personnel actions, including title changes and transfers.
9) Freeze all transfers of funds and directory letter appropriations.
10) Freeze all new leases, long term purchasing contracts and other long term obligations including certificates of participation.
11) Freeze the retention of all new outside professionals, manager selections, and new contracts for managing alternative investments with respect to New Jersey’s pension funds. 1
2) Advise and provide advance notice to transition staff and major financial transactions.
13) Strictly enforce, and refrain from relaxing, any existing spending constraints and financial controls.
14) Hold 50% of all operating accounts in reserve to ensure that agencies are not spending more than half of their operating budgets prior to the commencement of the second half of the year.
As we have advised your staff, I have named two experienced New Jersey natives and budget experts, Bob Grady and Rich Bagger, as Co-Chairmen of the Transition Task Force on Budget and Taxes.
I have asked them to assemble a team to make recommendations to address the budget crisis and put New Jersey on a more sustainable fiscal footing.
I ask that your staff continue to cooperate with them in providing information and assistance. I appreciate your cooperation on these vitally important matters.
With best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Chris Christie
Cc: David Rousseau, Treasurer

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