Sen. Lesniak: Rutgers Board Does Not Need An Increase

As state lawmakers prepare to vote on a plan to add four members to the Rutgers Board of Governors, Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) has opposed the plan proposed by Sen. Steve Sweeney. Lesniak told NJTV News anchor Michael Hill that he believes there is a better reform for governance at Rutgers University.

“I think there’s a better way to reform governance at Rutgers without taking away its independence, which has served it well for over 250 years,” said Lesniak.

According to Lesniak, there was a internal study done that would have reduced the number of trustees on the Rutgers board. Lesniak said that the way to improve the governance within the Rutgers board would not include a board with political appointees.

With legislators set to vote soon, Lesniak says that he is trying to resolve the issue in Rutgers with his plan that would not increase the members of the Board of Governors.

“I’m trying to resolve it without having it come to a vote, so that we can improve the governance without jeopardizing the political and dependence of the board of Rutgers,” said Lesniak.

Gov. Chris Christie recently announced that he would be making changes to pension payments and reform. Lesniak said that he is sponsoring a bill that he says would not jeopardize pensions.

“So my plan would be give something to the governor and something for the democrats to resolve the issue and that would be to enact a millionaires tax to high income earners in New Jersey,” said Lesniak. “A little increase in their income tax but at the same time repeal the estate tax.”

As for the reaction to the bill, Lesniak said that Christie has dismissed it. According to Lesniak, there should be some common ground and a compromise on how to solve the pension issue.

In order to make up for money within the state budget, Lesniak said that there are plenty of places within the budget that can be cut out without affecting education.