Prieto: OLS no ‘tool’ of Democratic-controlled Legislature

TRENTON – Before this morning’s Assembly Budget Committee hearing got under way, Democratic Chair Vincent Prieto, (D-32), Secaucus, took direct aim at comments made by the governor Tuesday that the Office of Legislative Services was a tool of the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Prieto, pointing out that OLS budget Officer David Rosen has more than 30 years of experience, said that the nonpartisan office has greatly helped lawmakers, and that “He’s always been helpful to everyone here.’’

The OLS’ figures generally have been more conservative than the Administration’s numbers, and this year the office is forecasting $537 million less in revenue than Gov. Christie’s proposed fiscal year 2013 budget does.

“We try to get the numbers right,’’ Rosen said in response to Prieto’s comments. “At no point in time has any member of the Legislature sought to influence the revenue forecast.’’

Similarly, he said, OLS has not sought to curry favor with the Legislature.

Prieto: OLS no ‘tool’ of Democratic-controlled Legislature