Thomson slams Murphy over bloated snow budget

Thomson slams Murphy over bloated snow budget

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Assemblyman Edward H. “Ned” Thomson is slamming Gov. Phil Murphy’s wasteful spending of transportation dollars in light of a recent report that the state has expended nearly $38 million responding to minor winter weather events.

Edward H. Thomson

“Spending thirty-eight million dollars when we haven’t had a major snowstorm in most of the state is an outrageous waste of taxpayer money,” said Thomson (R-Monmouth), a member of the Assembly Budget Committee.  “We are in a serious fiscal crisis and can’t afford to spend tens of millions of dollars to stage contractors and treat our roadways for non-existent snow events.”

Murphy was widely criticized for his underwhelming response to a November snowstorm that paralyzed many roadways and stranded motorists throughout the state.  Since then the state has aggressively treated roads to prepare for potential winter weather events.

Thomson said he recognizes the need to respond to storms, but urged Murphy to consider the costs.  He noted that the state is facing serious financial challenges such as state pension systems being underfunded by more than $100 billion, and that last year’s budget hiked taxes by $1.5 billion.  Murphy has refused to rule out seeking additional tax increases in this year’s budget.

“You can’t keep asking taxpayers to dig deeper and then turn around and waste their hard-earned money,” said Thomson, who serves on the Assembly Budget Committee.  “As we begin working on the upcoming budget, we are starting out nearly forty-million dollars in the hole because Governor Murphy is overcompensating for his failures by wasting DOT resources every time there is a chance of inclement weather.”

The state Department of Transportation has treated roadways with more than 200,000 tons of salt and over 2 million gallons of brine this winter, according to the New Jersey 101.5 report.  The DOT has budgeted $10 million for snow removal and expects to reimbursed from the state budget for the remainder of incurred costs.