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Jersey GOP legislators sue Corzine over budget data


Senate Republicans sued the Corzine administration today to try to compel the release of data showing what state spending has been frozen by the administration. The complaint was filed in Mercer County Superior Court.

The Republicans sued after they filed a written request on Dec. 2 under the state’s open public records law. The Department of Treasury initially requested an extension until Dec. 24 to respond and then requested an additional 11 days, until Jan. 12, citing a need for a legal review of records.

The state’s budget shortfall was $459 million as of November for the fiscal year that began July 1. Administration officials project a $1.2 billion budget hole, which means Corzine will likely need to cut spending to balance the budget.

State senators Tom Kean Jr., Anthony Bucco, Kevin O’Toole, Steve Oroho and Phil Haines sent a letter to Corzine warning they intended to file the complaint. The senators said they want assurances the governor is “adequately preparing for revenue losses and the more than $100 million in new spending legislation you signed in the last several weeks.” Republicans say they want to know whether Corzine has frozen enough spending to balance the budget, and also what spending he has chosen to freeze.

The governor has said he will detail his plan to deal with the budget after the New Year.

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