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(TRENTON) — Following the first public hearing held by the Governor’s Privatization Task Force, Deputy Speaker Linda R. Greenstein and Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore Wayne P. DeAngelo today urged caution when it comes to privatizing state services. In the Task Force’s first public hearing, several leading watchdog agencies expressed concern over privatization and noted past efforts in New Jersey that led to mishandling and misappropriation of millions of dollars of state funding.

The pair pointed to problems faced by the State following the ill-fated and costly privatization of motor vehicle services. Just last week, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) open its doors to the new facility, which is operated by the State and not a private contractor, located on Route 130 in South Brunswick Township located in Greenstein and DeAngelo’s district.

“Today, we stood in a new cost effective and efficient MVC building that shows how well New Jersey can provide good services to our residents. As the ceremonial ribbon cutting was held the same day as this hearing, we are reminded how the State spent many, many years rectifying problems that came about as a result of motor vehicle services privatization,” said Greenstein (D-Plainsboro). “We should not go down the same road again that may ultimately lead to cost overruns and inefficiencies that we’ve experienced before.”

“Putting forward proposals to privatize state services in a couple months time is too short of a timeframe in which to thoughtfully and carefully consider all ramifications of making a significant decision,” said DeAngelo. “Privatization can easily translate into turning over the operation of state functions to unknown and untested entities that will slash jobs and cost taxpayer dollars. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly; we urge a much slower path and a clear recollection of the problems privatization created in past instances.”

Greenstein and DeAngelo represent the 14th Legislative District which includes parts of Mercer and Middlesex Counties.

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