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Assemblywoman Joan Quigley (D-Bergen/Hudson), who sponsored the law authorizing the purchase of two new State Police helicopters primarily for homeland security and other emergency purposes, today called Governor Christie’s use of this fleet for personal and political reasons a serious abuse of taxpayer dollars.

“The purchase of these new helicopters was designed to replace our aging fleet primarily for critical homeland security activities and medical emergencies and, when necessary, to transport governors safely and swiftly to important state business. To use these vehicles to shuttle between both a personal and a political activity is an outright abuse of taxpayer dollars.

I’m sure every resident of this state would love to have access to these helicopters when they’re stuck in traffic on the Turnpike or Parkway and missing an important appointment. Sadly, we don’t all have that luxury.

“This is yet another example of the Governor’s pattern of putting himself before the taxpayers, much like when he fled the state hours before a raging blizzard while residents remained snowed in for days.

“If the Governor truly cares about protecting taxpayers’ dollars, then he will reimburse them for this latest abuse on his part,” said Quigley.