Assembly Speaker aims to scale back size of government

Assembly Speaker aims to scale back size of government. Proposes shared services, reforms for property tax relief to aid N.J. residents


PARSIPPANY -- Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts said Tuesday that a series of bills to be prepared over the summer will help cut the size of government in New Jersey.

Without changes in the way governments consolidate services, Roberts said, "there can be no property tax relief."

His aim is for the Assembly to begin work in September to reform the laws that nowinhibit municipalities, counties and schools to share services.

Roberts, a Democrat, speaking to the editorial board of the Daily Record, said the planned legislation would replace the current 337 separate laws on the topic with a "single uniform modern law authorizing the consolidation and sharing of services among and between local governmental units."

He proposed to change the use of the state's municipal block grant program, which in the past was used as an inducement to share serves, so that the state would only send money to municipalities that showed government efficiencies.

Among the proposals, Roberts said are:

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