TRENTON – There are 20 votes in the Senate, one vote short for the resolution disapproving the contract where WNET, a New York-based station, takes over the operations of New Jersey Network, according to Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan.
Diegan said it unfortunate there aren’t enough votes to the stop a “bizarre proposal,” as Diegnan termed it.
“It just is a bad deal from top to bottom,” he said. “I think this entire deal should be thrown out.”
Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-37) of Teaneck, said the WNET deal does not fully cut ties between state funding and the network operations.
“We will still be on the hook, therefore our taxpayers will still be on the hook,” she said.
She said that if the network does not meet $6.75 million in revenue, taxpayers will be required to make up the difference.
“It doesn’t absorb any of the risk … in a soft economy,” she said. “It could inflate the annual cost by millions of dollars.”
Weinberg said she hopes Gov. Chris Christie agrees to their proposal to have at least a couple of more months of negotiations for a better deal.
Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-3) of Paulsboro, said the budget proposed by the Democrats includes $2 million that would enable New Jersey Network to continue operating for about 120 days.
The extra time would enable the public television network to negotiate a deal that, he said, will be more favorable to residents and would provide continued coverage of New Jersey government.