The New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) wants Governor Jon Corzine to sharpen his stance on the privatization of state toll roads.
The group said that Corzine’s promise to protect the public in any monetization deal is too vague, so they began circulating a petition to get Corzine to adhere to a stricter code of monetization.
Monetization entails turning some aspects state road operations like toll collection over to private companies. Corzine has raised the possibility of monetizing some state roads, including the New Jersey Turnpike, to raise cash for state coffers.
“In recent toll road deals the public’s been taken for a ride,” said Abigail Caplovitz Field, NJPIRG’s Legislative Advocate. “It’s not enough to make vague promises to protect the public.”
NJPIRG wants Corzine to pledge to adhere to six principles of monetization that the group drew up: public control, fair value, 30 year maximum deal length, impeccable maintenance and safety, transparency in making the deal, and fiscally responsible use of proceeds.
“If the governor’s serious about protecting the public, he will commit to our principles,” said Field.