BILL TO TRACK LOCAL SPENDING PASSES ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE

Legislation sponsored by five Assembly Democrats to improve public transparency by making it easier for residents to review local government budgets on the Internet was released Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-2844) is sponsored by Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Camden), Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden), Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer) and Nelson Albano and Matthew W. Milam (both D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). 

A 2007 law requires local governments to post budgets on their websites, if they have one. The new bill requires:
· The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to post on its website the budget of any municipality or county that does not maintain its own website.
· Municipalities and counties to post on their websites the last three adopted budgets.
· The DCA to provide on its website the last three adopted budget of any municipality or county that does not maintain its own website.
“With this bill, any taxpayer with access to the Internet can review these local budgets online at any time,” Milam said. “That would be a modern approach and a leap toward greater government transparency.”
“Making it easier to review public documents that help decide property taxes is a no-brainer,” Albano said. “We can do better, and with this bill, we will make local budgets readily available to everyone.”
The bill was released 5-0 Monday by the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee.

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