Stressing the need for increased efficiency in delivering services rather than continually raising costs on New Jersey families, Governor Chris Christie today vetoed A-2921. The bill would have eliminated the August 1, 2010 sunset provision under a 2007 law that provides funds for the New Jersey Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS). The bill would have allowed the State registrar to charge an enhanced $15 fee on a permanent basis for each human burial, removal, or transit permit issued, rather than reverting back to $5 as current law provides.
"The economic crisis affects every citizen of the State. I reject the mindset that renewing, prolonging, or extending temporary fees is the way to solve our problems," said Governor Christie. "Although I fully support the maintenance of the EDRS, I will not sign this bill into law. It is not fair to make the citizens of New Jersey continue to pay increased fees for the burial of their loved ones."
The Governor added that the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has sufficient resources to maintain the EDRS without further burdening citizens with an enhanced fee.
"State government must live within its means," the Governor continued. "We must increase efficiency, and find ways to deliver essential services without raising costs. By declining to sign Assembly Bill No. 2921, I am affirming my Administration's commitment to these principles."
The New Jersey Electronic Death Registration Support Fund was created in 2004 to meet the developmental and operational costs of the New Jersey EDRS and to reimburse local registrars involved in the process. In 2007, the Legislature passed a law increasing the fee from $5 to $15 until August 1, 2010, at which time it will revert back to $5.