State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, a Republican candidate for governor, issued a statement today criticizing Gov. Chris Christie’s plans to spend $300 million to renovate the New Jersey Statehouse.
“The governor’s plan to renovate the Statehouse begs more questions than it answers,” Ciattarelli said. “We just finished debating a massive but avoidable 23-cent increase in the gas tax. Now suddenly $300 million more debt for a Statehouse renovation without a dedicated funding stream?”
Even if there were dedicated funding for the project, Ciattarelli said the state simply cannot afford any more debt.
“Our crippling debt is the reason we recently suffered our tenth credit downgrade. It also raises the constitutionality of the plan. Why isn’t this debt going before voters?” he said.
“The governor’s plan lacks innovation and resourcefulness. Counties and municipal governments plan ahead on big projects to minimize debt by budgeting smaller portions over a three to five-year period,” he said. “The governor didn’t and also ignored restoring the Statehouse with public-private partnerships or private donations.”
Ciattarelli said the Statehouse does need to be renovated and that workers deserve safe working conditions, but said Christie’s plan is irresponsible.
“The proposed plan is emblematic of New Jersey’s irresponsible fiscal policy and cause for taxpayers’ continued frustration and anger,” he said.