Promoted from the diaries by Rosi
The New Jersey Governor, particularly through authority granted in the constitution, is probably America’s most powerful governor. All the more reason we should beware of granting the Executive Office even more power. In Governor Christie’s Executive Order #15, designed to curb excesses of State Boards, Commissions, authorities, and agencies, he decrees:
“No State Authority shall hire, enter into or renew any contract with any lobbyist or legislative agent, unless expressly authorized in writing in advance by the Governor’s Office.” Apparently, lobbying per se is not wrong, but can only be conducted when the Governor-General likes it.
“No State Authority shall approve any travel by any employee or Authority Board member in excess of two-hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) paid out of Authority funds unless approval is obtained from the Governor’s Office prior to such travel.” While excessive travel expenses have been frequently incurred, this decree represents an absurd level of micromanagement power inappropriate for the Executive Office. With $250 one can barely, if that, cover the expense of a roundtrip Metroliner ticket to DC. How much time and effort of his staffers will be needed to handle such requests?
“No State Authority shall include any financial incentive relating to termination or separation from employment in employment contracts with its employees, unless expressly authorized in writing by the Governor’s Office.” Once again, the Governor indicates he does not necessarily oppose employment separation agreements, just those that he does not like.
The Governor-General is to be commended for tackling the multiple problems with these authorities. However, micromanagement and implying that certain actions might be egregious but are still reserved for the governor smack of power-grabbing and insufficient forethought. He needs to involve the legislature where Senator Loretta Weinberg, for example, has already displayed leadership and success on this issue. Or are we witnessing another another example of “We are doing this on the fly.”