A hidden side to New Jersey’s privatization push

Source: Melissa Maynard, Stateline, November 13, 2010

….. . Critics say the DEP appeared ready to let a private sector company decide when developers can build near wetlands or other lands protected by state law–something that has never been tried in any state. DEP officials say those fears are overblown, and have vowed not to bring any contractors on board before the end of June. The flap over the RFP has given Christie’s critics fodder for attacking his entire privatization agenda. It’s also raised questions about the process by which privatization happens. New Jersey is a state where unions have historically been powerful enough to thwart privatization. Now, Christie’s task force has put 40 programs up for consideration, and Democratic lawmakers have been surprised to learn that the executive branch can privatize many of them without legislative approval.

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