COUGHLIN THROWS SUPPORT BEHIND ANTI-PRIVATIZATION COALITION

Believes Residents Should Know, in Black and White, if State or Private Firms can Better Deliver Individual Services

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex), a co-sponsor of a measure (ACR-150) to amend the state constitution to set minimum standards and procedures for discussing the privatization of public jobs and services, issued the following statement Monday in support of the Coalition on Privatization’s coordinated effort to opposed unchecked privatization in New Jersey:

“While privatization often sounds great in theory, its true impact is often hidden in the details.

“Private businesses are in the business of making a profit, whereas government is in the business of protecting and serving its citizens. When a business bids on a project or a service previously or currently performed by a public entity, they are seeking to make a profit.

“Frankly, it is my fear that the profit a business seeks to make in a privatization deal will come at the expense of taxpayers, whether through increased costs for services or through a reduction in the overall quality of services.

“It is my belief that any program or service currently being provided by our government can continue to be provided just as efficiently and cost-effectively — if not more so — than if that same service was given over to private contractors to run.”

“That’s a major reason behind my support of legislation to amend the state constitution to require the establishment of standards and procedures state and local governments must follow when considering privatizing services.

“This amendment treats workers fairly and protects our taxpayers from the possibility of higher costs and lower quality of service from private contractors.

“Protecting New Jersey taxpayers and making sure workers get a fair shake is important. That’s why I stand with the coalition and why, on Jan. 25, I stood in solidarity with members of the IFPTE Local 194 while the NJ Turnpike Authority discussed privatizing 850 working-class jobs.

“New Jersey residents deserve to know all of the facts when the state is considering a privatization deal.”