TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed legislation that sought to make it a requirement for the administration to post state monthly revenue reports.
The governor also added language to the bill that creates a penalty for unauthorized dissemination of the state’s financial information.
The new language comes after the governor’s office has been critical of the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services for, it says, playing politics by disseminating budget information to lawmakers, which was then in turn leaked to media outlets.
“The markets are too fragile and financial portfolios too reliant on accurate information in the marketplace, for games to be played. I accept responsibility for transparency in my Administration’s financial reporting along with the responsibility to protect those relying on accurate financial information,” Christie wrote in his CV message.
The bill, A2885/S2095, would have mandated monthly reporting on state budget funds and disclosure of actual revenues compared to anticipated revenues.
The report would be due by the 10th working day of the month and would include other funds such as the Casino Revenue Fund. In addition, the reports would have to be issued to the Assembly Speaker and Senate President and the respective budget committee chairs and would have to be posted online.
The bill passed the Senate 35-1 and the Assembly 52-17 with nine abstentions.
Christie added language to the proposal that would take out the requirement that reports be issued by the 10th working day, instead the governor suggested the bill include “or as soon thereafter as is practicable.”
The governor’s language would make disseminating certain unauthorized budget information punishable by a $10,000 fine, according to his CV message.