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Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver today offered her support to the Coalition on Privatization, stressing the need to proceed with caution when it comes to privatizing state services.

“We’ve seen many instances in the past where privatization of various state functions was rushed into blindly without a full understanding of how it would impact the delivery of services, the workers involved in the operations or the long-term costs to the state.

“Often times these agreements only deliver short-term cost savings but long-term damages to the delivery of services offered to taxpayers. In many instances, lower wage earners are the ones who suffer when their jobs are eliminated or replaced.

“Any privatization arrangement should be conducted under a microscope with a full cost analysis that demonstrates how savings would be achieved without increased fees, substantially reduced workforces, or lower standards of service or workplace safety. Only then would it truly benefit the taxpayers of New Jersey.

“Otherwise, it would simply be a short-term gimmick to plug a budget hole, one that could have disastrous long-term effects.