New Jersey government sector lobbying
This practice is controversial because public funds are spent to lobby for an agenda not subject to direct approval by voters, and outcomes may be contrary taxpayers benefit.
Public entities in New Jersey spent at least $2.1 million to lobby state government in 2009. The spending by other levels of government to lobby state government came as annual lobbying data released by the Election Law Enforcement Commission showed a record $56.4 million was spent to sway lawmakers and administration officials that same year. “There are better things for towns to spend their money on than lobbying us,” said a spokesman for Governor Chris Christie, who is critical of government sector lobbying.
In 2010, three counties, Morris County, Sussex County and Warren County stated they would withhold dues to the New Jersey Association of Counties until the government sector lobbying association completed an audit of its spending. This call for an audit resulted in diverse responses from New Jersey freeholders, as some defended the organization and others criticized it. The association has hired an auditor.
Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations
- New Jersey School Boards Association
- Garden State Coalition of Schools
- New Jersey Association of School Administrators
- New Jersey Association of School Business Officials