Issue Position: Fiscal Responsibility & Government Transparency

Issue Position

By:  Barbara Buono
Date: Jan. 1, 2011
Location: Unknown

Senator Buono is making sure New Jersey's taxpayers and working families are always put first. As Senate Majority Leader, she is fighting to make Trenton more open, honest and accountable.

Just as New Jersey's families have to tighten their belts during these tough economic times, so too must state government. Senator Buono has a strong record of working to reform New Jersey's budget process and cut down on wasteful spending -- even when it means standing up to members of her own party. She fought to create the Office of State Comptroller and will continue to give the office new tools and oversight ability to account for every single tax dollar. As Majority Leader she will lead the charge to reform the Comptroller Office by allowing New Jersey voters to directly elect the State Comptroller so the position is independent and empowered to hold all levels of government fiscally accountable. As an elected official the Comptroller will be beholden only to the taxpayers -- making the office more effective and responsive, with a broadened scope to initiate probes of all public contracts, large and small.

A leader in making government more transparent, Senator Buono will continue building upon her record as the former Chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee -- including continuing her fight to eliminate wasteful pork barrel spending. Shortly after becoming Majority Leader, her bill was signed into law requiring the Governor to include in his annual budget message a report to the legislature detailing the impact of state tax expenditures on the budget. Buono is also fighting to make public contracts and grants available on the State Treasurer's website. She believes a renewed focus and scrutiny needs to be given to off-budget items -- such as tax expenditures that are not regularly examined by legislators. Senator Buono knows every dollar counts and is shedding light on state revenue to help legislators determine whether spending items serve their intended policy goals, and whether or not they should be continued. Senator Buono is working hard to root out waste, fraud and abuse and to make sure New Jersey's tax dollars are spent wisely. A prime sponsor of The Charity Fraud Prevention and Detention Act, Buono fought to reform the charity care disbursement system to root out waste and save New Jersey taxpayer's their hard-earned money.

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