Democrats want guarantees on N.J. privatization plan

    Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to privatize some New Jersey government functions is meeting resistance from Democrats in the Legislature.

    The Democrats want a constitutional amendment requiring the state to show that moving services to the private sector would save money without the need for fee or fare increases. Companies would have to give employees the same pay government workers get for those functions.

    Democrat Linda Stender, chairwoman of the Assembly’s State Government Committee, said Christie “is very intent on privatizing and taking decent wages and reducing them down to minimum wage so that there can be big profits for business and big contributions for campaign accounts.”

    Fairleigh Dickinson University political science professor Peter Woolley said privatization will be a key issue in this year’s legislative elections.

    “Public employees are basically a core constituency for the Democratic majority in New Jersey and so that’s the constituency they really have to speak to,” said Woolley. “This is a piece of legislation that it clearly pro public employee.”

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