Trimming NJ State Government

From the Home News Tribune:

Lawmakers tout bills to cut state work force, tighten ethics

Three Shore-area Republican state legislators are hopeful that bills they’ve proposed to reduce the size of the state work force and tighten ethics rules will be given a hearing by their colleagues.

But state Sen. Leonard T. Connors Jr., R-Ocean, says he’s realistic about the chances of such measures being championed by a member of the majority Democratic Party, which is what’s needed for the bills to see the light of day.

“I believe it would take some intestinal fortitude on the part of someone to move such a bill,” he said of his proposal to cut the number of state workers by 14,000 over four years.

Connors isn’t the only one who wants the bill heard. Shore residents such as Walter E. McInerney, 66, of Wall say they want it considered, too.

But, McInerney said, the bill doesn’t go far enough, fast enough.

“If he thinks that 14,000 could be eliminated, why doesn’t he take a look at at least 10,000 of those that will be eliminated in the next several years and start eliminating them now,” McInerney said of Connors. “Step it up.”

The reduction would be achieved through attrition, Sen. Connors said. He said state Office of Legislative Services’ figures show about 5,000 state workers leave government service each year. His proposal, he said, would call for not filling 3,500 of those jobs each year.

The bills were immediately shipped to the chambers’ respective state government committees, where they still sit.

Sen. Connors predicted that the several unions which represent state workers would take issue with the reduction act.

“They don’t understand the bill,” he said. “Nobody loses their job, that’s number one.”

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