TRENTON, N.J. – The Schools Development Authority has faced intense scrutiny for a plethora of patronage hires under the Murphy administration after it hired a Democratic Party leader to head the bureaucracy.
“The SDA has been plagued by poor management for years, and it is too important for our low-income school districts,” said DeCroce (R-Morris). “We must end the status quo and make sure it is doing right by taxpayers.”
Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce and Assemblyman Christopher P. DePhillips sponsor legislation to eliminate the authority and transfer its functions to the Division of Property Management and Construction in the Department of Treasury. Projects will continue to be financed by the Economic Development Authority, but the Legislature and governor will have greater oversight.
The Bergen Record reported that the patronage hires increased the authority’s budget by $2 million; which is hardly affordable for a bureaucracy that sticks taxpayers with a $1 billion debt bill annually.
“The next step is to eliminate the SDA,” continued DePhillips (R-Bergen). “Years of inept management have delayed progress for low-income students and hit taxpayers with billions in debt. It’s obviously time for a sweeping change.”
The Division of Property Management and Construction handles operation and maintenance of state-owned real estate. It is currently carrying out the Statehouse renovations and has experience in design and reconstruction of aged buildings.