Commission Meeting

of



NEW JERSEY COMMISSION

ON CAPITAL BUDGETING AND PLANNING






LOCATION: Committee Room 11

State House Annex

Trenton, New Jersey

DATE: December 10, 1999

9:30 a.m.



MEMBERS OF COMMISSION PRESENT:

B. Carol Molnar, Chair

Anthony F. Annese, Vice-Chair

Senator Robert E. Littell

Senator Bernard F. Kenny Jr.

Michael R. Ferrara

Janice Mitchell Mintz

Margaret M. Villane

E. Martin Davidoff

Robert A. Roth



ALSO PRESENT:

Jerry Traino

(representing Assemblyman Francis J. Blee)

Jennifer Sarnelli

(representing Assemblyman Louis A. Romano)

Peter Lawrence

(representing Roland M. Machold)



John Geniesse, Acting Executive Director

New Jersey Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning

James Poole

Director

Office of Public Finance

New Jersey Department of the Treasury 2



Anthony R. Mazzella

Assistant Director

Office of Property and Lease Negotiations

Division of Property Management and Construction

New Jersey Department of the Treasury 3



Richard Waldis

Director

Office of Fiscal Management

Division of Administration

New Jersey Department of Corrections 22



Paul Shidlowski

Supervisor

Capital Planning Unit

Office of Management and Budget

New Jersey Department of the Treasury 42



E. David Barth

Director

Division of Financial Management and

General Services

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 50



Daniel W. Foster

Director

Resource Planning and Management

Office of the Attorney General

New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety 57



Sergeant Mark Kaminski

Acting Unit Head

Facilities and Project Management Unit

Division of State Police

New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety 59





Lieutenant Robert Plaza

Budget Operations Bureau

Division of State Police

New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety 60



Richard Bernstein

Executive Director

Administration

Juvenile Justice Commission

New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety 64



Keith Poujol

Facilities Manger

New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety 64



Major Mark A. Preston

Chief

Facilities and Planning Bureau

New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs 79



Jack Stoffa

Master Planner

Planning Section

New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs 88



Major Mike Dzurisin

Chief

Planning Section

New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs 90



rs: 1-109

























B. CAROL MOLNAR (Chair): I'd like to call the meeting to order. In accordance with the Open Public Meetings law, the Commission has provided adequate public notice of this meeting by giving written notice of the time, date, and location. The notice of the meeting has been filed at least 48 hours in advance by mail and/or fax to the Trenton Times and The Star-Ledger and filed with the Office of the Secretary of State.

Now take the roll call.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes, me and the bagels are here. And I invite any of the Department people, if they're sitting here an hour from now, feel free to go back, there are plenty.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Here.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Here.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell. (no response)

Senator Kenny. (no response)

Mr. Traino, for Assemblyman Blee.

MR. TRAINO: Here.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Sarnelli, for Assemblyman Romano.

MS. SARNELLI: Here.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence, for Treasurer Machold.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Here.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Here.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Here.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Here.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Here.

MR. GENIESSE: We have a quorum, Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

We're taking this slightly out of order. We'll skip the Executive Director's report for now. We'd like to welcome Jim Poole, from the Treasury, to do the follow-up on the debt report.

Jim, could you identify everyone for the stenographer?

J A M E S P O O L E: Sure.

Thank you, Madam Chairwoman and members of the Committee.

As a follow-up to the November meeting and the insightful questions on capital leases, I brought with me today Tony Mazzella, who is in charge for the State of -- all the leasing operations.

The questions, I believe -- legitimate questions, I believe, centered around what is in your book that we gave you last month, in Section M, which detailed capital leases -- capital lease payments over the next five years, and showed a wide disparity between the principal and interest calculations as computed by the State.

With that, I guess Tony--

Do you want me to hand it over to you?

I'll hand you over to Tony Mazzella.

A N T H O N Y R. M A Z Z E L L A: Good morning.

MS. MOLNAR: Good morning.

MR. MAZZELLA: I appreciate the opportunity to come up here and clarify some of these issues.

Upon reviewing the data that was presented, we've concluded that perhaps some erroneous information was provided to the OMB in preparing this GAAP report, and we've tried to correct those calculations in that on the capital lease -- in the capital lease program. What has been calculated in the rental is all of the costs for the operations of the facility to and including taxes and operating utilities and contractual costs, which, clearly, had to be removed. We have rerun a series of those calculations for OMB, and we're rerunning the report.

At first blush, it overstated the numbers by -- in excess of $6 million on all 15 leases that were listed. In addition, there were re -- I say renegotiations or new leases in a couple of cases, which were a complete restructuring, which, after reviewing the report and guidelines under the GAAP, suggested that new values had to be placed on properties as well. And so we're working with the OMB folks to try and get those numbers redone and hopefully provide you with a new summary on that.

With respect to the questions that were left-- I had a few here that were provided to me through Jim, in terms of the current approval process for leases for the state and just some highlights of existing leases, etc. I can go through that, or if anyone has any questions on my initial comment, I would be happy to answer them now.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. I just have one question.

New summary -- do you have a time line when we might be able to get that?

MR. POOLE: Madam Chairwoman, OMB is working with leasing operations, and probably -- maybe January. The numbers that you have in your report -- the CAFRA -- the State's CAFRA is done. I believe it's being printed as we speak. So the numbers that you have -- we really don't want to change -- cannot change, at least in this year, within the CAFRA. I would assume that, within the next month or two -- I hoped to have them with us today -- but in the next month or two, the new numbers could be generated out of OMB to show, maybe, a recast FY 2000 -- excuse me, recast FY 1999 CAFRA and what it would look like for the CAFRA for 2000.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Actually, let me hear the rest of this, and then I'll go into my questions.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. MAZZELLA: Madam Chair, with your permission--

Basically, the approval process for leasing within the -- for leasing a state's pay for the State of New Jersey is governed by New Jersey Statute 52:18-A. It is a Treasury statute that establishes specific procedure on competitively bidding leases. The law was passed in 1992. Subsequent to that, their administrative code, N.J.A.C. 17:11, which outlines the process administratively -- that the Division of Property Management and Construction undertakes for the approval of leases--

These leases are generally operating leases. They're categorized as capital leases under the GAAP process, but the process under which they are negotiated and sought for approval and entered into are all in an operating sense.

Generally, the lease terms are consistent with the requirements of a specific agency requiring the space or deal with some of the general geographic economic development opportunities that the State seeks to provide as part of its delivery of service and supporting and partnering with local and county governments in providing state and local programs and access for the public to receive those services.

Currently, the State has 387 operating leases statewide. That covers approximately 6.7 million square feet of space, approximately 300,000 square feet of storage space, and roughly 12,000 parking spaces.

We operate leasing -- lease facilities out of all 21 counties and also have leased space in Washington, D.C., and some of our other states where the Division of Taxation operates programs to audit corporate headquarters that have major functions within the State of New Jersey.

Fair market value, of course, is something that can be debated. It's a function of availability and need in a particular locale. As I said, since 1992, our leases have been publicly bid through a competitive process. At the conclusion of that process, once we've reached the requirements and met the requirements of the legislation, which state that we have to utilize the most cost-effective lease in our recommendation, that is brought before a committee that is joint executive and legislative, called the State Leasing and Space Utilization Committee. A member of the Treasurer's Office sits on that. It's chaired by Assemblyman Joel Weingarten, and Senator Cardinale is the Senate representative. Meetings are held -- public meetings are held under which testimony is brought forth on these leases, and they're voted on in public session.

Lease costs in comparable space, across the board, we generally pay between 10 and 15 percent below market. Again, in a very tight office market, we've been known to have to pay as much as the going rate. Then it's really a function of what the demand is and what the availability is.

Costs included in lease costs: Generally, our representation, and what was originally provided to OMB as a part of this GAAP-reporting method, was all the lease costs. So an example of how these numbers got inflated would include costs associated with the day-to-day cleaning of the facility. In the event that we did some minor renovations in order to provide an improvement to the site for a particular program, that was included in the total -- costs for electric and all other utilities and taxes.

So in the context of how these numbers will recalculate, two major components need to be considered. The first is that there was an overstating by -- well into 30 to 40 percent of the total, that was operating costs, and should not have been in the total. And the second item is that, where we have entered into new leases on facilities that were valued in this report at a time when that previous lease was in place, the value of the facility was deflated in comparison to the new value as it relates to when the new lease took place. And that's what we're trying to correct.

That concludes any comments that I have relative to the questions. I would be happy to answer any additional questions.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Marty.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Hi.

Frankly, I don't quite understand what you've said, other than that there's some inflation. So I'm going to ask you some specific questions that will allow me to understand it.

On L-3, for example, for 1999, we had total "debt service" on the capital lease of $20,885,486.

Are you with me?

MR. POOLE: I'm sorry, what you -- Mr. Davidoff?

MR. DAVIDOFF: Total debt service of $20,885,486.

MR. POOLE: Oh, okay.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Which I assume is the total of the lease payments that is overstated. So instead of--

MR. POOLE: Correct.

MR. DAVIDOFF: --nearly $21 million, you're telling me that the number was more like $15 million?

MR. MAZZELLA: Yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, so the actual year-to-year costs are overstated by about $6 million. And you identified that as taxes, utilities, cleaning, improvements, and things like that--

MR. MAZZELLA: Yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: --that are operating costs and not purely lease costs.

MR. MAZZELLA: Correct.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Do we pay real estate tax? Is the State -- is not exempt under a lease?

MR. MAZZELLA: The State is not exempt on real estate taxes. We recognize that maintaining a building on the tax rolls is another benefit that is provided to the municipalities as part of our occupancy.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay.

Now, how does that impact the outstanding debt? Is the outstanding debt based on the fair market value, and then you back into the-- I mean, explain to me how we're going to recompute the outstanding debt at your end, which here says $80 million. Is that number going to be restated?

I don't know.

MR. MAZZELLA: Well, I didn't become an expert on this process.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Not formally, but is that number wrong?

MR. MAZZELLA: I just simply tried to clarify the input.

MR. POOLE: Yes, it will be. I mean, although on a total debt of $14.6 billion, a restatement of $10--

MR. DAVIDOFF: I'm not looking at restating the CAFRA, but when we go to recalculate this number--

MR. POOLE: Next year it will, you know-- Everything is remaining static. The number of $78 million will probably be reduced. What we normally show at next year's, $78 million of that will probably be reduced.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, because if you recall, one of my questions earlier was -- not that the debt was so high or low but that the debt service relative to that was extraordinarily high. So it may be that the outstanding debt is correct, but just -- you know, instead of $20 million on $80 million, we're paying $14 million on $80 million.

MR. POOLE: Right. The debt would relate to the-- The total amount of the debt, as it relates to capital leases, would be reduced once you take out the additional costs. As Tony touched on, though, one of the computations that you see on M-4 is the fair market value to the lease payments -- or the estimated fair market value to lease payments.

I believe they are now checking into how those estimated fair market values got into the system and whether they are also accurate. That's the -- that is the key that would change the differential between principal and interest.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, well I'm glad that finally we're going to get this.

Now, let me ask you one other question.

Our debt report need not-- We have several discrepancies from our debt report to the CAFRA. There is a schedule somewhere in here that says here's the total debt and here's the CAFRA and here are the differences. So we, for purposes of our debt report, could have a number different from the CAFRA and just add another number in the reconciliation that says $5 million, $10 million, $3 million, whatever the number is, related to capital lease adjustment. Couldn't we do that?

MR. POOLE: Excluding the capital lease adjustment that we just discussed, the difference between what we show in Appendix D and Appendix E, which is the reconciliation to the CAFRA-- What we try to show in Appendix D is all the debt, whether it's on our books or not, but all the debt -- you know-- We start-- We give you the breakdown to $12.8 billion, then we want you to also be aware of additional debt out there for -- and we feel that's full disclosure.

On E-1, what we do is then take the $14 billion that we've shown on Page D and reconcile it down to exactly what the CAFRA is, the $14.6 billion. So we can tie in exactly to the CAFRA and get rid of Appendix E, but we want you to be aware of everything out there, and that's why we show something a little different.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I think you misinterpreted the question. The question is, couldn't we restate our debt report here because it's going to become our debt report? It's your debt report now, but we're going to adopt it. Couldn't we restate our debt report to make the adjustment for the capital leases and then just stick it in E-1 as a reconciliation, don't change the CAFRA, obviously, but--

MR. POOLE: Sure.

MR. DAVIDOFF: --just put it as a reconciling item between our debt report and the CAFRA?

MR. POOLE: That would be good. I mean, I don't know you're planning on adopting this. As I said, OMB is working on the numbers. And we'll make sure that what we present is accurate, and I estimated earlier, about two months -- sometime in, maybe, January--

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay.

MR. POOLE: --before we actually-- Again, for the record, and I was going to hold this until the end, I do appreciate all your comments on this. I mean, the Treasurer is aware of what we're doing here today, and I echo his sentiments in the fact that we appreciate what you've been able to bring to light for us that we didn't know before. I think it will make for better disclosure. That's what we're all for.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Madam Chair, may I make a recommendation?

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I would like to recommend that -- one or two courses of action. One is to delay this until we have the adjustments, but if that's not possible, to adopt this with giving some empowerment to Madam Chair and the Executive Director to adjust our report to reflect the corrected capital leases and then allow that to be reflected in either one.

And I do this for two reasons. One is that we know that they're-- You know, we don't have to go to print this quickly because we're not a -- nobody's waiting for our report, from the point of view of predators and the like.

But the second thing is that I think to have that reconciling item in the debt reconciliation here, on E-1, to say less or plus adjustment to debt as a result of capital lease adjustment would -- whatever it is -- would be something whereby everybody will know -- the CAFRA numbers -- that there is something that is going to have to be adjusted. It will be a reminder that next year we'll have it in an official document. I think it's helpful to have it there. It also, you know, suggests that the process that we go through is a real process. And I think it's something we'd like to do. But I will open that to comments of other members of the Commission and see what they'd like to do.

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes, Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: I like the idea. The only problem I have at the moment is that we really don't know what that number is. We're not going to know until January.

MR. POOLE: Well, again, I do apologize for not having it available today. I thought, last month, that it was something that we could easily get to. As we've gone into this process, the Treasurer wants to make sure that the next thing we put out is accurate, everybody's seen it, agrees with it, so it's-- I would estimate late January.

MS. MOLNAR: How about a reference without a dollar amount?

Could you live with that, Marty?

MR. DAVIDOFF: I'm not sure. Maybe just wait until the end of January, early February, and just have a telephone conference meeting with the then members of the Commission.

MR. ROTH: Alternatively, you could just make an estimated adjustment of $5 million or $6 million and leave it at that, at this point, to be corrected later on.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: I don't think we should delay a vote on this. It is the second time it's been on our agenda, and the second time that the Division has been here. And I think the questions that Mr. Davidoff has raised have been good ones. I also think the gentlemen here this morning, from the Treasury, have really gone to the fullest extent in being able to provide us with whatever information is available. And I would be much more comfortable moving forward with this with either a reference without a specific figure, which we could then circulate as amendatory at some later point.

Can we not?

I guess I look to Mr. Geniesse in terms of procedure as to whether we can do that. I think estimating might be dangerous and might not be what the Treasury would want to see done, in that it seems as though Treasurer Machold is really looking for an accurate number to be out there, and an estimate might work contrary to that. So I don't know whether we could do something without a figure referenced and then add that figure in in late January, which would be fine with me.

MS. MOLNAR: Something like the report will be adjusted to reflect correct capital leases. Something like that.

Any other questions?

MR. FERRARA: Yes, I just want to see if that's possible. In other words, it will affect more than just the one page, would it not, if -- roll through the document.

MR. POOLE: I believe it would affect E-1 and the--

MR. DAVIDOFF: L-3.

MR. POOLE: Correct, L and M.

MR. FERRARA: Could you, at a future time, just distribute those pages to everyone who gets the debt report? Would that be something--

MR. POOLE: Sure.

MR. FERRARA: --you could do?

MR. POOLE: Yes.

MR. FERRARA: So, in other words, after they revise those pages that change, they would then send them to all the recipients of the debt report.

MR. POOLE: That would be no problem.

MS. MOLNAR: But today, should we accept it with some kind of footnote?

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

SENATOR LITTELL: Not to exceed--

MR. FERRARA: Well, we don't know what the number is to try to say not to-- They're going to give us the actual number when they revise the document.

SENATOR LITTELL: They must have a ballpark number.

MR. FERRARA: Well, I think Janice just said it is kind of dangerous to put in an estimate. Plus, I personally don't know what the Treasurer's feeling would be to try to guess the number. I think it's just better to say that it's being revised and that something will be distributed when the final numbers are calculated.

I mean, in the context of the total debt, we're not talking big money here.

MR. DAVIDOFF: We do know, yes, it's less than $80 million.

MR. POOLE: It's $80 million -- $14.6 billion put into perspective.

MS. MOLNAR: So it's part of our motion -- we can add that or we can physically put it in the document.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Let me make a suggested motion--

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. DAVIDOFF: --and see how it flies.

I move that we accept the debt report and footnote the commentary regarding errors in the capital leases and instruct our Executive Director to circulate corrected pages when those are available and after they're approved, through a telephone conference of this committee -- this Commission-- And that's it.

MR. ROTH: If it's appropriate, I'll second the motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Any discussion on that? (no response)

If not, I want to thank you, Marty, for all your research on this. I mean, it's excellent. You're an excellent attorney and an excellent auditor, too. Are you sure you don't want to serve another year?

If not, we'll take a roll call if there are no other questions or comments.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell.

SENATOR LITTELL: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Chairperson Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Thank you, Jim.

Thank you, Mr. Mazzella.

MR. POOLE: Thank you, Chairwoman.

Thank you, members.

MS. MOLNAR: Now, we'll back up a little bit. We'll back up to the Executive Director's report.

MR. GENIESSE: Yes, thank you, Madam Chair.

I'd just like to first call to the attention of the Commission members that we have distributed some changes, some revised pages, to the Commission recommendations. In two of the cases, the staff has revised the recommendations on -- capital recommendations for the Department of Health and Senior Services and also for the Department of State, with respect to Morven.

Let me just briefly summarize these changes and then, when we get to these agencies in the agenda, we can have further discussion.

In the case of the Department of Health, there is a request for a new State health laboratory for which the staff recommendation, which was originally made, was for no funding based on pending future decisions on the health laboratory. Based on some discussions, subsequently, between the Departments of Health and Treasury, it was determined that funding for a feasibility study would be appropriate in terms of making those decisions. And so the staff now recommends $750,000 for the feasibility study.

In the case of the Department of State, there was a request for $2.2 million for the Phase 2 restoration of Morven. Again the staff originally recommended no funding. And based on some additional information received with regard to the ability to house -- safely house artifacts at Morven and the needs for those and limitations on the availability of alternative funding, full funding of $2.2 million is now recommended for this request.

You've also been given a corrected page for the Department of State, higher education institutions. This is not a change to a staff recommendation. It is a correction of an error at the top of the recommendation page for that. It indicated that the staff recommended the full amount of funding requested, which was about $36.2 million. It should have shown a recommendation for no funding.

As a result of the changes to the staff recommendations, you also have a revised summary, by project, given to you.

Let me also point out that we have also distributed to you copies of prioritized listings of projects, which were requested of the Departments of Environmental Protection, Health and Senior Services, and Human Services, and they complied with those requests.

Now, let me just speak briefly about the overall capital requests and staff recommendations. Agencies submit a request for 952 projects, totaling nearly $1.9 billion. And with few exceptions, the requests represented real needs. The task of the staff, at arriving at the recommendations which are presented to you today, was a difficult one. Each of the projects were scrutinized and evaluated in relation to the programmatic knowledge of the staff, the priority expressed by the agencies, and finally, in relation to the criteria, adopted by the Commission.

Among those not recommended by staff are many important and viable projects. However, among the responsibilities of the Commission, and the one that we are concerned with today, is to advise the Governor and the Legislature on the projects in which scarce capital resources should be invested. And we have done our best to recommend, as the staff, what we see as the State's most pressing capital needs.

We have continued the practice of recommending funding for asbestos abatement and hazardous removal projects and Americans with Disabilities Compliance projects and underground storage tank removal and upgrade projects from the central accounts. The Division of Property Management and Construction requested amounts for these items on behalf of all State agencies, and, at times, these duplicated agency requests. The staff recommends that these requests be prioritized for funding from the central accounts.

We have provided the same briefing materials that Commission members received to both the Council on Economic Advisors and the State Planning Commission for them to provide any comments on the requests or recommendations.

Subsequent to this, the Commission's recommendations will be forwarded to the Governor and the Legislature and will be compiled and published in a seven-year capital plan.

I would like to conclude by commending Paul Shidlowski and his staff in the Capital Planning Unit for their hard work and expert analysis in putting together these recommendations. And with your permission, Madam Chair, as the discussions take place in the recommendations and questions should arise, I'd like to be able to call upon the staff for any information that's needed.

That concludes my report.

MS. MOLNAR: Great. Thank you.

Any questions or comments before we begin department by department.

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: In reviewing the staff recommendations by project sheets, I notice-- I'm a little disturbed that, probably, in only about 10 percent of the cases do we see any impact analysis of what all these requests are going to generate. I believe one of our requirements, to all departments, has always been to provide a statement as to how much additional cost is going to be incurred on an operating level or how much savings we're going to see.

I see pages and pages and pages where these numbers are zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, and I just don't believe that that is the case. And perhaps we can insist, next year, that this information be provided because if you're talking about spending almost $1 billion in capital expenditures in the next fiscal year, I think we ought to be able to have some sort of a picture as to what impact that's going to have on the operating budget.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you. Great idea.

Any-- Is that doable for next year?

MR. GENIESSE: Yes, Madam Chair.

The staff, as a part of the discussions with the departments, does endeavor to get operating impacts as best we can. In some cases the departments are unable to estimate it, but we will try to get more where that's appropriate.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Okay. If there are no other questions or comments, we will go department by department like we did last year.

Our first department is the Department of Agriculture. The request was $1.8 billion, and the staff is recommending $600,000.

Any questions or comments? (no response)

If not, we'll take a vote on Agriculture.

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. ROTH: I make a motion to approve.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. I need a motion, that's right.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Second.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell.

SENATOR LITTELL: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Chairperson Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

The next department is the Department of Corrections. They requested $182 billion -- $182 million, and the staff is recommending $88.293 million.

Any questions or comments?

Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Is there somebody here from the Department of Corrections that I, Madam Chair, may ask a couple of questions?

MS. MOLNAR: Yes, okay. Could we invite the Department of Corrections up? I think Mr. Warner is here -- Mr. Waldis.

Could you identify yourself for the stenographer?

R I C H A R D W A L D I S: Yes, Madam Chairwoman.

My name is Richard Waldis. I am the Director of Fiscal Management for the Department of Corrections. To my right is Philip York, who is Chief of our Bureau of Budget and Fiscal Planning Unit. And to my left is Mr. Robert Warner, who is Capital Budget Analyst in that unit.

MS. MOLNAR: Terrific.

Okay, Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, I have questions regarding two items.

The first item, item 19, expansion of inmate work space, where we have a recommendation for $6.1 million to improve work space where we're manufacturing clothing and other things. There is no impact on the operations. Why should the State be spending $6 million to do this?

MR. WALDIS: Our State Use Industries program is operated as a revolving fund, and that is that all operating costs associated with the production of those materials are funded from sales revenues. The funding is requested to provide the capital needs to allow for the expansion of the State Use Industries program.

Among other concerns or objectives we have is to provide an increased amount of inmate work opportunities. So the bottom line is, we are requesting capital dollars to enable that expansion to occur, recognizing that the ongoing operating costs associated with those industries and the expansion of those industries will be funded from the sale of inmate-produced products and services.

MR. DAVIDOFF: So you're telling me that if we spend $6.1 million to fund this, the debt on that is going to be paid entirely by the expansion of services that are being done by the prisons?

MR. WALDIS: No, Mr. Davidoff, I'm saying that the cost of the expansion -- the capital investment cost of the expansion that we're describing here will be paid by the State General Treasury Funds.

I was attempting to explain that the ongoing costs associated with those industry operations are, in fact, funded from the sales revenue generated by those industry programs.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, so I go back to the question. We're expanding a facility that's going to just generate enough additional money to maintain the additional facility. Why should we do it?

MR. WALDIS: Well, our primary objective is to provide additional work opportunities for an ever-increasing inmate population. Associated with those additional work opportunities would be the opportunity to provide additional vocational training and job readiness for inmates who eventually will be released. So I believe that when you're considering this request you should consider the context of an investment in the State's rehabilitation program.

MR. FERRARA: Could I just add another comment that I've heard from other Corrections Commissioners, that is, idle time in an institution is what leads to problems. You want to try to keep the inmates occupied. And so, by offering them work opportunities, they don't have idle time to sit there and think about what kind of mischief they can get into.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I happen to agree with the statement that that would be an ideal world, but here we have limited funds. I see, for example, where we're talking about juvenile criminals that we're not approving, so far, at least, athletic fields, which would, again, eliminate idle time.

I would venture to say that I don't think this is the most effective use of our dollars, and I would like to make a motion to delete it from the Corrections budget.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Is there a second to that potential motion?

MR. ROTH: I have a question on the motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. ROTH: Really, directed to the Department staff.

Is there any-- Are there any statistics available as to how many of your inmates, that participate in these programs and then are released, ever come back to jail? Or would you say, that for the most part, they're learning skills enough to become productive members of society?

MR. WALDIS: We recognize the value of providing inmates with certain skills and some training in terms of enabling them to gain employment upon their release. We do not have, at this point in time, statistics that identify, specifically, the recidivism rate -- the success rate, if you will, of inmates who have been employed in these various work programs. This is something that Commissioner Terhune is very much committed to in terms of following -- of follow-up studies so that we can provide that quantification -- that statistical information relative to various rehabilitation programs that the Department has ongoing, including the inmate work programs.

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. ROTH: Since that information is not available, I second Mr. Davidoff's motion, and hopefully we could reallocate this money to the youth programs when we discuss them later on today.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. FERRARA: Could I just explore one other area?

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. FERRARA: I know that we have used your services for refinishing furniture and things like that, so it seems to me that you do it at a less cost than if we went to the private sector and had to have this work done.

Do you have any estimate of what you save other State agencies by doing the various things that you do at, I believe, less than market cost?

MR. WALDIS: I don't have any hard statistics to provide, I think, in general, although it would vary by type of program. As you indicated, we provide a variety of services that benefit other agencies, through our clothing program, as a for instance. I would say, a rough estimate, maybe 10 percent to 20 percent below market cost for comparable products and services that are produced and provided through our State Use program.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I would hope that these, actually-- I would hope that they're not providing these at less than fair market value costs because I would hope they would be providing things that the market doesn't provide. We have a lot of small businesses in the state. And small businesses are the reason that this state has been an economic locomotive -- developing. And if you have our own government competing -- not having to collect sales taxes, not having to pay income taxes -- competing with our small businesses, I think you put them at a big disadvantage. I really don't want the State to be taking hardened criminals and have them competing with our small businesses who have to go hand to mouth to make ends meet every year.

So I would-- I don't find this a particularly good program, particularly being that we have no statistics that say -- regarding recidivism rates. We have these programs. I think we need to reallocate these to areas that, I think, will be more effective.

MR. WALDIS: If I may, Madam Chairwoman--

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. WALDIS: --to, perhaps, provide additional comment.

We are providing, by statute, only products and services to governmental agencies. So there is, in fact, a benefit, ultimately, to taxpayers.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes, but small businesses also sell to government agencies, and you're competing with them.

MS. MOLNAR: All right. Good point.

By the way, I'd like to welcome our two Senators -- esteemed Senators.

I believe Senator Littell had a question.

SENATOR LITTELL: Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.

I have a couple of comments and a couple of questions.

Can you tell me how many State prisoners are housed in State institutions today?

MR. WALDIS: Senator, as of today, there is approximately 24,000 housed in State facilities.

SENATOR LITTELL: Can you tell me how many empty beds you have?

MR. WALDIS: We're virtually at that number. I'm talking about that number. There is a certain turnover factor on a day -- that varies day-by-day, but we are averaging 24,000 State inmates housed daily in our State facilities, which, as you are probably aware of, Senator, is well in excess of their institutional design capacity.

SENATOR LITTELL: How many empty beds? Zero?

MR. WALDIS: On a given day, there may be a couple of hundred beds, just because of turnover as inmates are released and new inmates are assigned to that bed.

SENATOR LITTELL: And the net gain each month-- And the total is 125 new prisoners, net gain?

MR. WALDIS: Senator, we have been averaging approximately 110 to 125 net increase in State-sentenced inmates per month over the last several years.

SENATOR LITTELL: Well, then why are you wasting $11 million trying to get rid of the guard towers in the South Jersey Prison System, when you could be putting that money towards an expansion of the minimum security drug treatment program?

MR. WALDIS: Well, Senator, we are looking at various capital needs, including additional bed spaces, which this capital budget presents to the Commission. We're looking at the further enhancement of perimeter security for enhanced -- to enhance the security of our institutions. At the same time, our operating budget, which does, in fact -- will continue to demonstrate an increase in funding and commitment to expanding alternative programs to incarceration.

SENATOR LITTELL: Well, it seems to me that we're missing the target. The target is to provide enough beds to put the prisoners in that the court system sends to you. And if we have to devise a better way, we better start planning it now. And it's not taking the guards out of the towers, it's spending that money on something that will provide bed space so that you don't have to turn people out that shouldn't be turned out on the street early.

On the other hand, you can't take them in if you don't have any bed space.

I would think that the members ought to consider taking that $11 million that's allocated for replacing the guard towers with barbwire--

MR. DAVIDOFF: Which item is that?

SENATOR LITTELL: --and spend it on the need for minimum security systems.

Three hundred and fifty beds. You ask for $13 million. If we put that $11 million with it, you could have a 500-bed unit.

MR. FERRARA: Dick, he's referring to the first priority, which is $11 million for perimeter security enhancements.

Was a decision made to detower? I'm not aware if it was or wasn't.

MR. WALDIS: No, there was no decision to detower the-- As I indicated previously, the intention was to increase the perimeter security of our institutions.

MR. FERRARA: Are the institutions that are in this -- do they have towers? Are they -- enhancements to institutions with towering?

MR. WALDIS: Yes.

SENATOR LITTELL: It's common knowledge. The idea of getting rid of the tower guards has been around for several years. It's not something new.

MR. FERRARA: Right, but I didn't know if an actual decision had been made that once we do these we will detower. I know the discussion has been ongoing for many years.

SENATOR LITTELL: Eighty percent of the people that are in our State prison system are there, in some relationship, I'm told, to the drug problems, either selling or buying or distributing. We need a system that provides for rehabilitation. We need a system that has an adequate follow-up program. And I think using that $11 million to provide some minimum security beds would be a lot better use than to continue to do something that the citizens of South Jersey don't want to happen. You know it's never going to get approved by the Legislature anyway.

MR. FERRARA: I'd just like to ask the question that if, in fact, the decision has not been made to detower, then do you feel there are still some security problems in these prisons that would require additional security? They also want to be protected from the inmates escaping. So I would think that if we're spending $11 million to increase security it's because we feel there's a problem.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: One quick question.

How many escapes have we had in these -- for number one -- where you're going to put perimeter security enhancements -- how many escapes have you had in the last 10 years in any of those facilities?

MR. WALDIS: I don't have those statistics available to me, Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Any idea? One? Ten? One hundred?

MR. WALDIS: My recollection -- that perhaps, collectively, throughout the Department, it might have been 100. I really am uncomfortable in providing any estimate as to the number, but we're talking relatively few.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I think the Senator's point is very well taken. If you put the money into a facility that's going to prevent overcrowding, that may, (1), alleviate the long-term problem, and also may even make escapes less likely because you're not overcrowding your existing facilities as much. Some consideration -- I don't know -- maybe reduce this -- and maybe there are some --

Out of these perimeter security enhancements, are there some that you say, "Hey, these we've got to do. We have a particular problem with that." If you're saying -- $11 million of these facilities -- saying, "Hey, we have $1 million over here that we know we have to do this because we have these four problems in the last year," is there anything there that you think is really high priority in those perimeter security enhancements?

MR. WALDIS: The plan to proceed with -- to enhance security at additional institutions-- The priority of those institutional sites has been determined by the Division of Operations, and they have considered, obviously, a number of factors in determining the priority in which we'll proceed. And the priority would, in part, be related to the age and condition of the existing perimeter security at those institutions.

MS. MOLNAR: Senator Littell, would you be comfortable, perhaps, reducing it in half rather than totally deleting it -- the $10 million -- $11 million?

SENATOR LITTELL: Well, that would be better, but I personally wouldn't support that. We need beds for dealing with some of these drug addicts and some of these people that are in prison that need to get straightened out. The prison system is supposed to punish people, and it's also supposed to rehabilitate them.

MR. DAVIDOFF: How about reducing it to $2 million? Give them the moneys to handle their most critical security needs, and then we'd have $9 million for beds?

SENATOR LITTELL: Subject to proof that there's been 100 escapes because I don't believe the number's right.

MR. DAVIDOFF: That would be fine with me.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Madam Chair, I wouldn't be comfortable with an arbitrary reduction of the number. I think staff has provided some analysis. The Department has provided its information upon its original submission. And I think we need to be careful about arbitrarily reducing the number.

Senator Littell's point is an overarching one, which is taking it out entirely, based not on anything other than a belief that that is not an appropriate expenditure of the moneys in total. But to simply say that we would reduce it to $2 million or to $5 million or to $6 million, I think, is perhaps somewhat of concern and ought to be to this body because we're not really basing that on anything other than picking a number out of the air. And I would not be comfortable voting for something like that.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair, there is a motion.

MS. MOLNAR: I was going to say-- I was just going to say that. There's a motion right now, by Mr. Davidoff, first to delete the $6.1 million, correct?

MR. DAVIDOFF: That's correct, to eliminate the $6.1 million for the expansion of inmate work space.

MS. MOLNAR: So why don't we take that first. There's been first and second.

Can we vote on that?

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Can we have a discussion on that motion?

MS. MOLNAR: Sure.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: We all know there's been a large increase in the size of the prison population. Has there been much in the way of an increase in space for the prisoners to perform work -- who are in a world of what the Senator reminded us of earlier? Part of the prison experience, if you might, is being able to return to society as a more productive member. If the prisoners-- I've always thought, if the prisoners are not afforded the opportunity to work, they basically sit in their cells or basically idle away their time. And affording them work opportunities is important to the overall running of the Corrections system.

But I will let Dick speak to that through you, Madam Chair.

MR. WALDIS: I'd like to respond to Mr. Lawrence's comment.

MS. MOLNAR: Sure.

MR. WALDIS: With the exception of the new facility at South Woods State -- which was South Woods State Prison, where a significant amount of inmate work space was built into the original design, there has not been any significant expansion of inmate work opportunities -- industry work opportunity programs at our various institutions, primarily because the capital facilities do not allow for that expansion. And that is what this budget request is attempting to address.

MS. MOLNAR: I have a question of-- Is the average age of the inmates dropping so that there's more young prisoners in their 20s who may have dropped out of school, for example, who have no training at all?

MR. WALDIS: I believe the average age has maybe slightly decreased, but not significantly, Madam Chairwoman.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.

Any other questions or comments? (no response)

If not, we'll vote on the motion to delete the $6.1 million inmate work space.

MR. FERRARA: If this is defeated, does that mean that the $6.1 million stays in?

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell.

SENATOR LITTELL: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Motion is defeated. It does not carry.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. The $6 million is still in, but that leaves room for other--

Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I have another question.

Regarding that same project, you have, in the first year, a clothing shop-- One of the pieces is East Jersey renovation of eight wing. Is there still some study about whether East Jersey is going to remain a facility or be replaced?

MR. WALDIS: Yes, we're still looking at the potential or possible replacement of the East Jersey State Prison. The cost of completing the replacement of that facility would be very significant, and it's a plan that would require a lot of further discussion with the administration. And we're also talking about something that would be not in the near term but further out.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Out of that $6.1 million, please tell me how much is the East Jersey renovation eight wing.

MR. WALDIS: I'm advised that of the total amount, $1.5 million is specifically related to that item.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay.

I find it inappropriate to be investing more money in East Jersey, especially with what I've already expressed, I think, is almost a luxury in this particular case. I would move to reduce the $6.1 million to $4.6 million and eliminate the East Jersey renovation.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Is there some reason why it was included, knowing it's questionable what's going to happen?

MR. WALDIS: As I indicated, Madam Chairwoman, there has not been a decision as to the replacing of that facility. Obviously, if the decision was reached, that reconstruction -- if that was the decision -- would not take place for some time, then it would be done, presumably, on a phased basis. Obviously, in the redesign and reconfiguration of that institution, consideration would be given to maintaining and continuing existing space that was continuing to be needed and was constructed with the idea that it would continue as that space, even if the housing units, per se, were raised and rebuilt.

MS. MOLNAR: Do you feel a decision will be made in 2000 regarding East Jersey one way or the other as far as its future?

MR. WALDIS: I really can't answer that, Madam Chairwoman, because I know there are a lot of considerations with regard to that issue, one of which -- and a significant issue has to do with the financing of that cost. As I indicated before, the best estimate we can provide is that the complete reconstruction of that facility would be in the neighborhood of $150 million. So there, obviously, would have to be very serious consideration as to how that project would be financed.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.

MR. FERRARA: Could I just bring up another example, and that is that when we renovated Trenton Prison, it was done with the intention that we would phase out the old part. With 100 to 125 inmates entering the system every month, we find that even though our plans are to get rid of it -- a particular institution or part of an institution, it doesn't always happen because we just can't keep up with the growth.

MS. MOLNAR: Any other comments on Mr. Davidoff's suggestion? (no response)

Is there a second to his possibility of reducing the $6.1 million by (indiscernible)? (no response)

If not, we shall open the floor to any other discussions.

Is there any other changes or motions you want to make before we vote on the total?

MS. VILLANE: I'll make a motion that we approve the Department of Correction's recommendations.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, $88.293 million?

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, is there a second?

MR. FERRARA: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Any further discussion? (no response)

If not, we'll take the roll.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell.

SENATOR LITTELL: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Thank you, gentlemen, for coming.

MR. WALDIS: Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.

MS. MOLNAR: We had a request by the Senator if we could do the State Library right now. That's further on in your booklet, after Higher Ed.

MR. FERRARA: Do you have a page number?

MS. MOLNAR: That's the Department of--

MR. GENIESSE: Thomas Edison College.

MS. MOLNAR: The Department requested $15.8 million, and the Commission is recommending $400,000. The Commission is not recommending the construction renovation of the Library from the pay-as-you-go capital funds. They feel alternate funding should be explored.

SENATOR LITTELL: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Senator.

SENATOR LITTELL: I'd just like to point out, respectfully, that the State Library here in Trenton is the central hub for the whole library system in the State of New Jersey. And the No. 1 venue in the State of New Jersey is not Atlantic City. More people go to the libraries than go to the No. 1 tourist attraction in the State of New Jersey. People need to have, and are entitled to have, a decent facility for the hub part of the library system here in Trenton. And the building is in halfway decent shape because they've taken care of it. But the things that need to be done over there are life safety issues, along with the work on the museum and other buildings.

I would respectfully ask that you reconsider the $400,000 for the architectural and engineering study so we can start moving ahead on the Library. I've supported all of the capital projects in this city, and I think we're making tremendous strides, but I think we need to take care of these libraries. The central library, here in Trenton, has the same carpeting that they had when they built it. I think it's time we gave some serious attention to it.

You're right, there are other sources of funding on a long-term basis to do the work, but the $400,000 to get the project started ought to come out of our day-to-day operation. I make a motion to that effect and ask for your unanimous support.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

I had a question.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I'll second that.

MS. MOLNAR: Are funds available through the Building Authority?

MR. FERRARA: They could be if that was -- if the Legislature enacted the legislation to permit that project to go forward through the Building Authority.

I mean, you basically-- When you say there's money available -- they sell bonds. So they would sell bonds and the State would then pay off the bonds, and that's how the project would get funded. It would take an act of the Legislature to do that.

MS. VILLANE: That money would also include the architecture and engineering along with the construction. It would be all lumped in together in the project report through the Building Authority.

MS. MOLNAR: It seems the Building Authority has taken on the Capital Complex renovations, etc. I was just wondering why something like this wasn't considered one of them.

MR. FERRARA: Well, the answer would be that it has to be presented to them.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. FERRARA: And if the administration doesn't want to do it, they would not present it.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, got you.

SENATOR LITTELL: I took a tour of the facility a few years back with John Icarius (phonetic spelling) when he first was given the responsibility of the buildings. And one of the things I asked him when we were going through the building, was, "Is there a sprinkler system?" Yes, there's a sprinkler system, but it's only on one floor. It's taken us, probably, four years to get that corrected. I just don't understand how anybody can build a building and only put a sprinkler system on one floor.

But there are needs over there. Some of them are life safety issues. And I think we ought to start dealing with the Library's population. Out of the requested $15.8 million request, their appropriation is recommended at $400,000. I think we could afford another $400,000.

MS. MOLNAR: We could always appropriate the $400,000 and investigate the Building Authority later, perhaps.

SENATOR LITTELL: Yes, we could. We could always-- If the Building Authority's appropriation gets resolved -- just don't have to spend the $400,000.

MS. MOLNAR: Right. Okay.

There was a motion and a second of adding the $400,000 back in.

MR. FERRARA: Madam Chairwoman, can I add one more comment please?

MS. MOLNAR: Sure.

MR. FERRARA: I misspoke. The Building Authority does not have -- is not authorized to do this kind of a facility at the current time. So it would take a change of the Building Authority's statute to allow them to do the Library.

MS. MOLNAR: Interesting. Okay.

MS. VILLANE: Mike, how about if they grouped it in with the museum and the auditorium?

MR. FERRARA: Paul, if it became part of the bigger project -- the museum.

MS. MOLNAR: Could you identify yourself? We all know you, but we need it for the stenographer.

P A U L S H I D L O W S K I: Paul Shidlowski.

I'm not sure I like this side of the table. (laughter)

What was the question? Could you repeat the question?

MS. VILLANE: If you did the Library project as a group project with the museum and the auditorium, could the Building Authority do that project?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I don't believe so. I believe it would take a change in the Building Authority's statute to undertake either of those projects. They do have a limited purview.

On the other hand, the State Treasury Department has had a long-standing project to eventually deal with all the buildings in the cultural complex. They would contemplate a change in the Building Authority's statute to do that.

MS. VILLANE: And the Building Authority can't do it -- why?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: They're generally limited to prisons, office buildings, and certain historical preservation projects, which were specifically named in their amended statute.

MR. FERRARA: And now schools, or are we still waiting for that legislation?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: We're still waiting for that.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: It was my recollection that we were going to provide $40 million of aid to libraries.

MR. GENIESSE: Forty-five million dollars.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Forty-five million dollars. And the State Library is excluded from that $45 million?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I believe so, yes.

SENATOR LITTELL: I will give everybody my word that I will sponsor whatever changes are required in the law to allow the Building Authority to go after those projects: the Library, museum, and the auditorium.

While you're at it, make sure you go to the auditorium and see the magnificent painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware. It's 13 feet long and 11 feet high.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

I have a first and a second. Any other comment to add the $400,000 back in? (no response)

If not, we'll take a roll.

MR. GENIESSE: Madam Chair, is this motion on to adopt the State Library at the $800,000 level, including the $400,000?

MR. DAVIDOFF: No, it's the added $400,000.

MS. MOLNAR: Well, that would make the Commission recommendation now $800,000. We can vote on the total recommendation right now and kill two birds with one stone.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I think it's two steps, one to add it to the -- to change the staff recommendation from $400,000 to $800,000, then we would vote on the Department.

MS. MOLNAR: All right. First, we'll vote on adding the $400,000 to the construction line.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell.

SENATOR LITTELL: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

SENATOR LITTELL: Thank you.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Now, we can move on the total -- the Commission's total recommend of $800,000.

Do I have a first and second on that?

MR. ROTH: I'll move the recommendation of $800,000 for the State Library.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, do I have a second?

MR. ANNESE: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, any other comments or questions? (no response)

If not, we'll take a roll.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell.

SENATOR LITTELL: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Chairperson Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Now we'll go back to our original order, which the--

SENATOR LITTELL: Madam Chairwoman, thank you. I'm going to excuse myself. I'd like to pass a vote, for all the other issues, of in favor.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you very much, Senator. Have a nice holiday.

SENATOR LITTELL: You, too.

SENATOR KENNY: Before the Senator leaves-- Did anybody report on Assemblyman Romano?

MS. MOLNAR: No.

SENATOR KENNY: He was hospitalized, and he is okay, though. He had a cold that then developed into a fever. This is the first meeting of any sort that he has ever missed in his entire tenure in the Legislature -- of any committee session, since he's been on it.

MS. MOLNAR: That's amazing.

SENATOR KENNY: So it's unfortunate that one of the last meetings that he wanted to attend, he was unable to.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes, we wanted to honor him today, too.

SENATOR KENNY: He had a fever, but the doctor had him hospitalized. I spoke to his family last night. He's stabilized, and he should be coming home either today or tomorrow. Maybe we'll have an opportunity, in some way, before he leaves the Legislature next month, to--

MS. MOLNAR: Do you know what hospital he's--

SENATOR KENNY: No, I don't.

MS. MOLNAR: Somebody asked me that.

SENATOR KENNY: I don't, but I will find out.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you for your comment, Senator.

Thank you, both Senators.

Our next department is the Department of Education. They requested $3.974 million, and the Department is recommending $3.899 million.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Move to approve.

MS. MOLNAR: Do I hear a second?

MR. FERRARA: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Any discussion? (no response) Wow.

If not, we'll take the roll.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell.

SENATOR LITTELL: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

SENATOR KENNY: On another--

I'm sorry to interrupt again.

Senator Littell, just on another matter before you leave-- I don't know that it would -- it might impact on the Jurisdiction Committee later on.

Next July, we will be observing the millennium in the New York-New Jersey Harbor. They predict that upwards of five to six million people may be visiting the New Jersey waterfront between Liberty State Park, Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal, lower Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, West New York, all of which are now open to the public with walkways and parks. So unlike 10 years ago or 20 years ago, the public couldn't get down there, now they're going to come. So they predict five to six million people are going to be coming into Hudson County.

We're having a meeting next week in the County Executive's office in Jersey City. We invited the Governor's Office and the Jersey City municipal officials, law enforcement, for the first meeting to address what our needs are going to be in the county on that weekend because it's a several-day celebration.

They're going to have a line of tall ships that are going to extend from Sandy Hook to the George Washington Bridge. That's how long it's going to be -- and massive fireworks. So we may have the need, in Hudson County, for various funding, some, perhaps, of a capital nature -- certainly law enforcement. And the State Police are coming to the meeting on -- representing the meeting.

So I wanted to let the Chairman of the Senate Committee -- Budget Committee -- and this Committee to know that we are starting because we want to make sure that New Jersey's waterfront is safe and secure for the masses of people that are going to be enjoying it, both in terms of law enforcement, safety, welfare, sanitation, transportation, and the like.

So I wanted to bring that to everyone's attention today. We're getting a head start on it. We're having our first meeting on December 14.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you, Senator.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: To that point, by the way--

During the bicentennial, the State did provide special recognition and funding.

SENATOR KENNY: Right.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Maybe we can research what happened.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you. That's good to know.

Our next department is the Department of Environmental Protection. The agency request was $174.794 million, and the Commission is recommending $127.708 million.

We're up to DEP -- $127.708 million. Any questions or comments?

MS. VILLANE: I'll make a motion that we approve the recommendation.

SENATOR KENNY: I'm sorry. I do have a question.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, Senator.

SENATOR KENNY: Is someone here from DEP?

MS. MOLNAR: This is David Barth.

E. D A V I D B A R T H: Good morning. I'm David Barth, Director of the Division of Budget and Finance for DEP.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you for coming.

SENATOR KENNY: Good morning.

I just noticed that Liberty State Park -- I didn't see it in here.

MR. BARTH: There is one recommendation in the package for the funding of $400,000 for the southern waterfront area.

SENATOR KENNY: Right.

MR. BARTH: That is one of the Commission's recommendations out of, I believe, about a $1.7 million total request for funding next year for Liberty.

SENATOR KENNY: Is that in the list? I just missed it then.

MR. BARTH: The project is listed, according to Paul, as the South Overlook Project.

SENATOR KENNY: Oh, okay.

MR. BARTH: That is the one -- the other -- there are three other pieces that were not recommended.

SENATOR KENNY: Okay.

I know that they have -- that you have done a lot there in the last few years. What was not recommended?

MR. BARTH: The specific projects, based on my understanding, that were not recommended -- $700,000 that would have gone into active recreational facilities; the finishing improvements on the Liberty Walk, which was about $250,000; and $500,000 of additional work in the south waterfront area.

SENATOR KENNY: And what was your reason for not recommending those?

MR. BARTH: I'll defer to the staff from the Capital Planning Commission. Based on my understanding, we identified -- out of the $94 million in capital funding requests, we identified what our most urgent projects were, which totaled some $25 million. These projects were not within the top quarter of our funding needs. But I'll defer to Paul for any other rationale.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: That was one particular point. The other point is that we recommended the project, I guess, which was developed first. So that's the oldest part of Liberty State Park. We're recommending those renovations. Generally speaking, with the requests for new park facilities, we don't recommend that because there's a long standing issue of properly maintaining the facilities that we have.

SENATOR KENNY: Okay. All right.

I would ask that you bring back to the Commissioner the concern that I raised earlier, with respect to the millennium celebration in the park.

MR. BARTH: Yes, sir, I will.

SENATOR KENNY: We probably will need some support.

Greg Marshall is coming to that meeting next week.

MR. BARTH: Okay.

SENATOR KENNY: Okay, thanks.

MS. MOLNAR: Any other questions or comments? (no response)

Is there a motion to approve?

MR. ROTH: I'll second it.

MR. FERRARA: Did somebody--

MS. VILLANE: I made the motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Oh, okay.

And you seconded it.

MR. FERRARA: Okay, I'm sorry.

MS. VILLANE: Do you want to, Mike? You can be my guest. Merry Christmas.

MR. FERRARA: No, I thought he seconded it before anybody made the motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Any other discussion? (no response)

If not, we'll vote on the DEP.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff. (no response)

Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MR. FERRARA: Could I ask a question? When the Senator left, he said he approves everything else. Do we not accept that? Does he have to be present in the room when we take a particular vote to accept his vote?

MR. GENIESSE: My understanding is that he has to be present.

SENATOR KENNY: Normally, the practice is, in the committees, is that as long as the legislator is present and comes to the meeting, he or she may authorize his votes accordingly. So I would ask that Senator Littell's votes be recognized as he asked.

MR. GENIESSE: Okay.

MR. ROTH: Question to Senator Kenny.

Would that only apply if the vote is on the unabridged version of this? What if we decide to make a change?

MS. MOLNAR: And if he's not here for the discussion.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Only on the unabridged, I think.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes, I would say so.

MS. MOLNAR: I think, yes, in prior years we did allow their vote to carry through for unchanged recommendations.

It's a little bit out of order in my book, but the next department is the Department of Health and Senior Citizens (sic).

You received some updates. We had some discussion about the lab -- $750,000.

The recommendation is $3.923 million for the Department of Health.

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair, I move for approval.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MS. VILLANE: I'll second it.

MS. MOLNAR: Any comments or questions? (no response)

If not, we'll vote on the Department of Health.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff. (no response)

Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell is a yes.

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. The next department is the Department of Human Services. The staff is recommending $41.9 million.

The largest-- One of the items not recommended was the coal tar cleanup at Greystone.

MS. VILLANE: I make a motion that these recommendations be accepted.

MS. MOLNAR: Do I hear a second?

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Any discussion on Human Services? (no response)

If not, we'll take a vote.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes, and also please record my vote as yes on the last two votes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell is a yes

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: The next department is the Department of Law and Public Safety. The Commission is recommending $6.205 million.

Any questions or comments?

SENATOR KENNY: Is someone here?

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Foster is here.

SENATOR KENNY: May I just have a--

MS. MOLNAR: Sure.

SENATOR KENNY: Mr. Foster?

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Foster, yes.

Could you identify your staff for the stenographers?

D A N I E L W. F O S T E R: Yes, I'm Dan Foster, Manager with the Office of the Attorney General in the Department of Law and Public Safety. And to my left is the Facilities Manager, Madeline Crane.

SENATOR KENNY: Mr. Foster, would you be kind enough to convey the concern I raised earlier to the Attorney General with respect to the millennium celebration?

The Governor's Office is going to send a representative to our meeting on December 14, which is at 1:30 p.m. at the County Executive's office. And at some point, I imagine, the Attorney General will be participating in some fashion in terms of the State Police or whatever.

Would you just convey that to him?

MR. FOSTER: Yes, we certainly will. In fact, I have Sergeant Kaminski here with me on my right. He will be taking it back to Carson Dunbar, the new Superintendent.

SENATOR KENNY: Very good. Thank you. I appreciate it.

MS. MOLNAR: Is there any question for our esteemed members here?

Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Let's talk helicopters. I want to hear from both the staff, and I'd like to hear from you why you think we need them, and can we phase them in instead of giving them all in one year. And then from the staff, you say we should go to alternative funding, but this is clearly capital, so I'm kind of confused. So I would like to hear both sides.

MR. FOSTER: The reason that we made the request for the helicopters is because the Sikorskies are anywhere between -- the three Sikorskies that we have that do the medevac are anywhere from 11 to, I believe, 15 years of age. The Bells that we have that primarily provided some type of backup are not necessarily recognized anymore in that capacity. They're looking for twin engine helicopters to be available.

MR. FERRARA: Could I just-- I might be able to shorten this in that, in the operating budget for the Department of Law and Public Safety, we have recommended replacing the three medevac helicopters. So the operating budget will, in fact, through a master lease, pay for these three helicopters. Now, if there are other helicopters, that's a different issue, but the three medevac helicopters are being handled in the operating budget.

MR. FOSTER: I did not know that that was going to occur. I knew there were some discussions about funding for the medevac -- the capital maintenance accounts, but I did not know you had intentions of replacing the medevac helicopters.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Let's talk about the other helicopters. What do you use them for, and what do you have and what's your shortfall?

MR. FOSTER: We have three Bells, which we-- I think we're going to keep one as a training helicopter. They--

Actually, I should have Sergeant Kaminski address a little bit more of what they do, but in the past they were a backup for the Sikorskies in providing medevac support.

S E R G E A N T M A R K K A M I N S K I: Is this on? (referring to PA microphone)

For the record, I'm Sergeant Mark Kaminski, with the State Police.

Regarding the Bell helicopters, as far as the medevac purpose is concerned, the Bells cannot adequately perform this function because they're not recommended for flight over water, night flight, or flying under IFR conditions. The Sikorskies, on the other hand, are.

MR. DAVIDOFF: What other purposes are they used for?

MR. FOSTER: Law enforcement.

SERGEANT KAMINSKI: Law enforcement purposes as well as medevac. Law enforcement purposes would entail operations for searching for fugitives -- fugitives, injured citizens in the state parks in the mountainous areas, and so forth.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Now you have-- As you say, we have six helicopters right now. At any one time, during daylight hours, how many of these are in the air, or are they just, you know -- when there is an emergency, pick one and you run with it?

SERGEANT KAMINSKI: It depends on operational needs. It can vary from zero in the air to all six being required to be in the air.

MS. VILLANE: Can I just ask-- Do we have six helicopters at the State Police?

MR. FOSTER: Yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Somebody behind you is trying to talk.

MS. MOLNAR: Could you give your name, please?

L I E U T E N A N T R O B E R T P L A Z A: I'm Lieutenant Plaza. I'm with the Budget Operations Bureau.

Currently, the State Police have six helicopters. We had an accident with one of the helicopters -- N4NJ, and it's-- We just settled on the case. It's totaled. So we have five helicopters right now, two Bells and three Sikorskies.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I guess what I'm trying to find out is, is there a good reason, in addition to the three medevac you're getting-- Do you need another helicopter, or can you take one of the other three and put them to use? I'm trying to see if we need any more helicopters, or does that take care of it for you.

SERGEANT KAMINSKI: The purpose, as stated, gets back to the age of the existing helicopters. Well, we performed the best maintenance that we can on the helicopters, but they are aging. Metal does fatigue. If we have a need for -- and as we stated -- for more than three in the air, then it comes back to this same issue on the condition of the helicopters that we have now. So I would answer yes to that.

LIEUTENANT PLAZA: If I may add to that, Mr. Davidoff. There was a consultant study done, I believe it was in 1996, that evaluated the State Police. They felt that the twin engine operation would actually be able to perform both functions -- both of the medevac as well as the State ramsite operation, which is provided by the Bell now. These ships could be interchangeable at that point. If one ship were to go down for medevac, the State ship could be used for that function also. That was their recommendation.

Another request from the aviation unit was to provide them with, actually, two twin engine Bells, as well as a training helicopter because training is a big function of -- keeping the pilots trained properly is a big function of the aviation unit.

MS. MOLNAR: Any other questions or comments?

MS. VILLANE: I make a motion that we accept the recommendations from the Department of Law and Public Safety.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Do I hear a second?

MR. ANNESE: Madam Chair, before we do that, I have an interesting observation to make here.

Over the years, this Commission has consistently requested that maintenance be performed on the facilities so that the facilities be kept up and maintained. And now we have a very unusual dilemma in front of us. We've just found out that some new helicopters will be purchased through the operations budget. At the same time, we're facing a request here for a maintenance facility for those helicopters -- for a new hanger to store and preserve them.

The staff has recommended that we don't go forward with it. But I think it may be incumbent upon us to lead by example. If we are insisting departments maintain their facilities, then we must provide them with the equipment to do that maintenance work. And if the Department wants a facility to maintain its helicopters, I think, perhaps, we should seriously look at that request.

So for purposes of discussion, I'm going to make a motion that we approve that request for a new hanger.

MS. MOLNAR: How much was the amount requested?

MR. ANNESE: Let's see, it's Item No. 11.

Am I on the right one?

SERGEANT PLAZA: That cost would be $7.4 million for that facility.

MS. MOLNAR: How much, $3.7 million?

SERGEANT PLAZA: It's $7.4 million.

MS. MOLNAR: Seven million, four hundred thousand dollars.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I don't see an item.

MS. VILLANE: Right here, Page 199.

Where do you keep the helicopters now?

SERGEANT PLAZA: The helicopters are kept at the ramp at the Mercer field, partly in space owned by DMOVA and partly in space that we leased from Mercer County through -- at the hanger. That lease cost is currently $282,000 a year.

MR. GENIESSE: Paul.

That request for $7.4 million--

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: That's an out-year request.

MR. GENIESSE: That's an out-year request.

MR. DAVIDOFF: That's an '03-'04 request.

MS. MOLNAR: It's not for this year.

We'll keep that in mind for next year.

All right, we have motion and a second.

Did we get a second?

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: I'll second.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, any other questions or comments? (no response)

If not, we'll vote on Law and Public Safety.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell is a yes.

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

The next department is the Department of -- I'm sorry, the Juvenile Justice Commission. The staff is recommending $14.040 million.

I'd like to welcome Mr. Poujol, from the Juvenile Justice Commission.

R I C H A R D B E R N S T E I N: Good morning, Madam Chair and Commission members.

My name is Rich Bernstein. I'm the Director of Administration with the Juvenile Justice Commission. And with me is Mr. Keith Poujol, who is the Facilities Manager.

We wanted to just take this opportunity first to thank the Commission members for the recommendations included in the capital budget, and also to ask for a review and possible reconsideration of one of our requests with regard to land acquisition at our Ocean Residential Group Center, which is located in Forked River.

I'd like to turn it over to Mr. Poujol to give the details about that particular request.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.

K E I T H P O U J O L: Good morning.

I had a discussion with John and staff, and we were alerted to some concerns with respect to possible land swap with DEP as an alternative for funding the $400,000 originally requested. I wanted to make the Commission staff aware and the Commission members aware that we had approached the Department of Environmental Protection last year and had ongoing dialogue to do a land swap. There are competing priorities on the property in question to swap land in Monroe Township, commonly -- everybody calls it Jamesburg.

There is 625 acres up there. Three hundred acres is currently farmed. And there are ongoing discussions with the Treasurer's Office for host community benefits to do something with the properties for Monroe Township, as well as the recent legislation with the Department of Agriculture, which allows for use of State land for lease for agricultural purposes. All of these compete against the possibility for a land swap with DEP. We are continuing to have dialogue with Tony Mazzella, who was here earlier, and we'll meet to try to work something out. But our suggestion is, for budgetary purposes, that the $400,000 be recommended in the off sense that we cannot work out a proper arrangement because of the legal issues with deed restrictions, etc.

Thank you.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Any questions regarding this issue?

MR. DAVIDOFF: I have questions on other issues--

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: --but I'd like to resolve this first.

MS. MOLNAR: Not on this issue.

Okay, your question.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Does anybody want to make a motion on this? All right, I'll go to my question.

MS. MOLNAR: Until the end to see--

MR. DAVIDOFF: That's fine.

I'm looking at item Project No. 55, construction maintenance equipment storage building. When I was looking at this -- this is in Bordentown. When I read what was underneath, it sounds like you don't have enough room to store your equipment now and that you're not able to properly maintain the facility. Is that correct, or can you go another year or two?

MR. POUJOL: Currently, the facility that used to house that burnt down, and we're in the process of demolishing that. And we have some of our equipment in some of the abandoned buildings, under tarps. That was the suggestion that we construct a pole barn building on a same location once we demolished the existing structure. That demolition process is ongoing.

MR. DAVIDOFF: So you have some stuff under tarps.

MR. POUJOL: Yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: It doesn't seem like a good way to maintain equipment.

I'd like to ask that $118,000 be added to the budget, and I'd like to make a motion to that effect.

Do you want to deal with that now, or should I go to my other--

MS. MOLNAR: What's the name of the project?

MR. DAVIDOFF: It's No. 55. It's construction maintenance equipment storage building -- Priority 20.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Any discussion on that item?

MR. DAVIDOFF: I guess you need a second before you have a discussion.

MS. MOLNAR: That's true. Good point.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Nobody else might want it.

MR. ROTH: I thought we were going to hold off a vote until the end and include everything together.

MS. MOLNAR: In light of this, maybe we should vote on each one separately.

MR. ROTH: I'll second it then.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

We have a motion to add the $118,000 for the storage building. Is there further discussion on that?

SENATOR KENNY: I'll second it.

MS. MOLNAR: It's been seconded.

SENATOR KENNY: Oh, it has?

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, we'll take a vote on that one item.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell can't vote on that.

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Let's go back to the purchase of the Ocean facility -- the putting back of $400,000.

Is there a--

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: On that, I would like to make a motion that we table that for next year's consideration or whatever, in that to have received that proposal today, without DEP in the room, without Tony Mazzella in the room, it's premature. It is, quite frankly, in the overall scheme of the State budget, a small amount of money. If this does move quickly, we can work with the Department and Treasury.

There is another consideration going on, in that there's a very active new commission that is looking at the Governor's $98 million Open Space Initiative. And they would also want to comment on this. And again--

So it's really just-- My consideration is that it may be premature to commit money today. So my motion is that we--

MR. ROTH: I'll second that motion.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Point of order. If we do nothing, in effect, it's tabled to next year.

MR. FERRARA: Peter is saying that in the scheme of the entire budget, we can find $400,000 to transfer, or the Department could find $400,000. If we really wanted to go forward with it, it's really not a big issue.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, so there's no motion to add it in.

Okay.

If not, we have to vote on the new total budget.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I have another item.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay, let's turn our attention to Item 52, renovation, track and field complex. I guess you have $100,000 for A and E and then a total project, if it's approved, eventually, $1.2 million. This is at the Johnstone complex?

MR. POUJOL: Yes, sir.

MR. DAVIDOFF: How many young offenders do we have there at this complex?

MR. POUJOL: At the JMS Facility, 125. The facility itself is utilized by our community programs statewide. They use the gymnasium at JMSF and they rent facilities near Burlington County College -- some of the other gymnasiums and fields in the area that would allow our community programs to utilize outdoor sports complexes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: When you talk about your community programs, these are people who are not at Johnstone but who are being followed by the Juvenile Justice System?

MR. POUJOL: Correct, sir. The juveniles at JMSF have outdoor recreation at what we call the big yard that's under -- fence -- secured perimeter. The complex at Johnstone is on the nonsecured side of the complex and would be made available to our community program kids who are in a staff secured environment. There is approximately 600 juveniles under that area.

MR. DAVIDOFF: So another 600 juveniles there -- 100 here. I mean, if we keep 100 juveniles out of jail because we have good sports facilities, we're going to save a lot of money down the road.

MR. POUJOL: Yes, sir.

MR. DAVIDOFF: May I make two suggestions?

I looked at the details of this. It said bleachers for 250 people, four basketball courts. The first part is for design. My suggestion is that you look at this as it's being designed.

I'm going to ask that the $100,000 be put in. But as you look at the design, I'm going to ask that you say, "Well, what do you really need, and can you accomplish most of the same purpose for $500,000 rather than $1.2 million?" as you're looking at this.

I would like to-- This is-- I have-- I look at young offenders. These are people who-- We still have a real chance of bringing these kids back in, especially if you have community programs.

So I'm going to recommend that we add the $100,000 back in, which--

Am I correct, that was for A and E in design?

MR. POUJOL: Yes, sir.

MR. DAVIDOFF: And that you take a good look, when you present it for next year -- if that goes through -- that you present it with a couple of alternatives. "Here's what we absolutely need, and maybe if we can go the whole yard." As you see, through our discussions today, there's just only so much money. And if for $500,000, $600,000, $700,000 you can accomplish the bulk of what you're looking for-- So you don't have fancy bleachers. The kids will be able to watch the games anyway.

So I'd like to move that we add that $100,000 -- Project 52 -- Department Priority 26, which is the first portion of getting these recreational facilities completed.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you for your compassion, Mr. Davidoff.

Is there a second to add the $100,000?

MR. ROTH: I'll second it.

MS. MOLNAR: Any further discussion?

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Madam Chair, I just have a question for Mr. Poujol.

Is it correct that the Johnstone facility is contiguous with Bordentown -- with the Juvenile Medium Security Facility?

MR. POUJOL: Yes, it is.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Okay.

What -- and you may have already discussed this, but I'm not sure I'm clear on it -- what ability do you have to share facilities right now because I know, from my previous position, that there was some sharing going on? If you could clarify that a little bit.

MR. POUJOL: Are you saying within the Commission itself?

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes, within the Commission itself.

MR. POUJOL: Yes, we have fields at Jamesburg, obviously, which is a large football field, etc., but that's inside the secured perimeter. The primary areas where we bring our juveniles in the nonsecure area are in our regional programs, which have limited space availability, they're either urban centers or way out in the sticks. We have ropes courses. We bring the kids by bus to Wharton Tract, etc. But the only area with large quantities of land, which would allow for soccer, baseball, are in the Johnstone areas, and that's where we've targeted this complex.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Thank you.

MS. MOLNAR: Any further discussion? (no response)

If not, we'll take a vote on adding the $100,000 for A and E.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Motion does not carry.

MR. DAVIDOFF: It does not?

MR. GENIESSE: Five votes.

MS. MOLNAR: There's only four yeses.

MR. DAVIDOFF: There were five yeses.

MR. GENIESSE: Five yeses. We need seven.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Isn't it five to four?

MR. FERRARA: Twelve members.

MS. VILLANE: You need the majority of the quorum.

MR. DAVIDOFF: It's not a majority of the members, it's a majority -- our bylaws, I think, just call for majority.

MR. FERRARA: Paul.

MR. GENIESSE: My understanding is that we need a majority of the members.

MR. DAVIDOFF: You just need a majority of the quorum.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: The bylaws state that we need a majority of the overall Commission to approve any capital request. That would be seven members.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Well, we had a couple earlier that had three no votes. I think the Department of Corrections--

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I was keeping track of the votes.

MR. GENIESSE: We had seven yeses.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: There were seven that approved each one of those.

MR. DAVIDOFF: But that's not necessarily-- We weren't approving it. We were just adding to a preliminary budget. And the approval process would be another step. We've always worked the majority vote on these.

MR. FERRARA: Does anybody have the bylaws with them?

MR. DAVIDOFF: I do.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: That's true. That was before our adoption of the bylaws.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I have them here.

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: I would suggest that by adding it to the overall, you're approving that particular project.

MR. DAVIDOFF: If I could just look at them.

MR. FERRARA: I believe that there was, what, 10 members here when Senator Littell was here. So if we had three no votes, we still had seven yes votes.

MR. GENIESSE: I kept track. we had seven yes votes for every other vote.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, so for capital recommendations, you need the seven.

How many are present now? Let's see--

MS. VILLANE: Nine.

MR. FERRARA: There's nine of us.

MR. GENIESSE: Nine. It was five to four on the last vote.

MR. FERRARA: Three no votes would kill it.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I have the bylaws here, and I don't see anything about the voting. Could you, Mr. Shidlowski, maybe, since you know these better-- I see a quorum. I hope this is the current version.

SENATOR KENNY: It's interesting because in the Legislature, when we have motions on the floor to amend, it's the majority vote. It doesn't have to have 21, for example, in the Senate. But when you're voting on the final bill, it has to be 21. Likewise, in local government, resolutions just require a majority of those present, while ordinances require a majority of the body is constituted. So sometimes a majority of those present is sufficient.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I can read the two sections that are relevant.

Under voting, it says, "The voting on matters of meetings of the Commission shall be by voice vote. Action may be taken, and motions and resolutions adopted by the Committee, upon an affirmative vote of polarity of the quorum, except as noted in Sections 8, 9, 10, and 11," which we'll get to in a second.

No. 8 says, "Commission recommendations of approval of a capital project budget recommendation shall require an affirmative vote of at least seven members of the authorized membership of the Commission."

We have always-- In my mind, when we say, "We're now approving, we're just-- When we add a project or subtract a project, we've always been making that -- adjusting what the staff has recommended. It has not been the adoption, it's always just adopting -- adjusting what the staff has recommended, and then we either adopt or not adopt the entire slate. And if you don't do that, what you're doing is giving the staff the power, by what they recommend or not recommend, to then require a super majority either way. In other words, are we going to require seven to take something off, or do we only then require four votes to take something off because there are 10 here and seven won't be approving it? I mean, it gets kind of dicey.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I think, if we interpret that the recommendation is the final thing, that we say, "This is what we're going to put forth to the Legislature, those final votes in each thing," I think that's what we all intended in Section 8, and I would think that something like this, where we're just talking about add a project, take off a project, we've always gone by majority vote.

SENATOR KENNY: I think he's right.

MS. MOLNAR: I think you're right. That wouldn't be a super majority. The final vote on the final number requires the seven.

MR. DAVIDOFF: So the Chair is ruling that that last vote passes?

MS. MOLNAR: That last vote -- we had--

You had a majority, didn't you?

MR. DAVIDOFF: We had five to four.

MR. GENIESSE: Five to four.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: If I may, and I think the spirit of what Senator Kenny was saying is that in a situation like this, a simple majority would amend the plan, and if, in the wisdom of this Committee, that made it unacceptable for passage by seven votes, then all would be lost, so to speak.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Correct.

MS. MOLNAR: Right.

So it did pass then because it did have the majority of those present.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Madam Chair, at the time we take the vote then on this full package, would you please clarify the exact amount and, in particular, specify the add backs or deletions? I think there were two add backs.

MR. FERRARA: But the vote has to be all or none, does it not?

MS. MOLNAR: It has to be seven votes.

MR. FERRARA: So if we don't get seven votes, then we will start taking things back out again?

MS. MOLNAR: So it will go up again. That's what happens. That's the problem when you do it that way. It only takes a regular majority to add it in. Later on, though--

Okay, Juvenile Justice now. We had the $14.040 million. We added $118,000 for the building -- storage building. We added another $100,000 for the A and E on the track. So that gives me a total of $14.258 million.

Do I have a motion to approve the $14.258 million?

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair, I move to approve the $14.258 million.

MS. MOLNAR: Do I hear a second?

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: I'll second that.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Now we can take the roll on that, if there's no discussion.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: That moves, seven to two.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Senator Littell is not counting now?

MS. MOLNAR: We made changes.

MR. GENIESSE: We amended the--

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you, gentlemen.

The next department is the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs. The staff recommendation is $15.280 million.

SENATOR KENNY: Is someone here, through the Chair?

MS. MOLNAR: Good morning, and could you identify yourselves for the staff?

M A J O R M A R K A. P R E S T O N: Good morning. I'm Mark Preston. I'm in charge of Facilities and Planning for the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs. To my right is Major Mike Dzurisin. He's in charge of the Capital Planning Section. And to my left is Mr. Jack Stoffa, in the Planning Section also.

SENATOR KENNY: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

SENATOR KENNY: Through the Chair, may I again convey, through the Major or whoever's the appropriate party, the concerns that I mentioned earlier, with respect to our preparedness for the millennium celebration, and would you convey that to the General.

MAJOR PRESTON: Yes, I will. I took all those notes.

SENATOR KENNY: Okay, good. We are meeting December 14 at the County Executive's office at 1:30 p.m. If someone would like to be represented, we'll be there.

MAJOR PRESTON: I will make sure, as soon as I get back this afternoon.

SENATOR KENNY: Thank you, sir.

MS. MOLNAR: Now, any questions on Military and Veterans' Affairs?

Marty, nothing?

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: I would move the staff recommendation.

MS. MOLNAR: Good, okay. Do I have a second?

MR. FERRARA: Second.

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair, I did have a question.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. ROTH: I'm sorry I didn't speak up sooner.

I'm a little concerned that, in light of all the effort that's been made in the last several years -- and fortunately it's come to a success this year -- that the Battleship New Jersey has coming in the state -- why we've put zero in the budget for the Battleship New Jersey motion. I'm wondering if somebody could speak to that.

SENATOR KENNY: What page are we on, sir?

MR. DAVIDOFF: Thirteen.

MR. ROTH: I'm looking on Page 13, Department Priority 5, Project No. 43.

MS. MOLNAR: It's $500,000.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MS. MOLNAR: The staff says the ship's berthing location has not been decided, and it must still be referred. This will require up to a year. So it sounds like they're delaying it.

It's not recommended by the staff since it appears to be premature -- Page 3 of their presentation.

MAJOR PRESTON: If I may, Madam Chair, the Navy is supposed to, within a month or two, announce where they're going to decide for the Battleship's location.

What we had asked for, initially, for the $500,000, was the A and E work on the actual museum for this Battleship. Again, it would depend whether it's going to Bayonne or Camden or who knows where else. But initially, this is just for the new museum itself, and then from there we've decided -- the A and E would decide how to fit the museum and the location that it would go to.

If the Navy does decide, say by February, that should give us time, within a year, that it's supposed to take to refurbish the Battleship to move it back to, again, Bayonne or Camden.

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. ROTH: Regardless of whether it be Bayonne or Camden, it's going to be in New Jersey, and I think we should put provisions in the budget right now for that museum. And I'd make a motion to add the $500,000 to the staff's proposal at this point.

MR. FERRARA: Could I just make a comment?

MS. MOLNAR: Sure.

MR. FERRARA: My recollection of the $6 million that was appropriated for the Battleship New Jersey includes not only refurbishing the ship, but also preparing the dock where it's going to be berthed. So I think it's premature to ask for this $500,000. The $6 million may do it for us.

SENATOR KENNY: What is-- I'm sorry, could you repeat again what the $500,000 is for?

MAJOR PRESTON: Initially-- The $500,000 is just for the A and E of the museum portion of the Battleship, to write about its heritage and its glory for the past 40 or 50 years.

The $6 million that came with the Battleship is for the towing, the refurbishment of that Battleship, to Philadelphia and then to Bayonne or Camden. I don't believe the $6 million initially was for the museum itself.

MS. MOLNAR: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes. The only point that I'd like to make is, even though it may be six to eight months until they know where it's going to be, we're talking a fiscal year that ends 19 months from now. So if it's funded, there should be sufficient funds to have this go along and let them get started on that. So I would approve the addition.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: I think there will be, at the appropriate juncture, as there has been up to this point, overwhelming support for the Battleship New Jersey. Obviously, there has been, in having it returned here to New Jersey. I feel confident that should additional moneys be needed, they will be forthcoming to the effort. So I would not be in favor of putting in additional moneys because I think we are at an early juncture in this process. We have, at best estimates, I think, approximately, a year for appropriate retrofitting of the Battleship itself, and there may be time delays in that.

So again, if I thought there was even a hint of a chance that there wouldn't be appropriate dollars at the appropriate time, I'd be concerned, but I don't think, given the history of the funding for this project, that that's the case.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

SENATOR KENNY: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Senator.

SENATOR KENNY: We have our experts, with respect to the Battleship here, and they have repeated their request for the $500,000. And I have to be, as I am with all of the people that come before this Commission-- I'm very much guided by the experts, especially when they repeat that it is important to the planning purposes to have that commitment now. And I don't think it's premature at all because I read stories on the Battleship every other day in our state papers, every other day. And being in Hudson County, we have tremendous amounts of exposure to the issue. And the sooner we have the Battleship open to the public, the sooner it can satisfy the tourism demand that's certainly going to be there. It's going to be a tremendous attraction, whether it's in North or South Jersey.

So I'm just guided by the request by the Department. And I would join-- I don't know if the motion's been seconded or not. If it hasn't, I second it.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you, Senator.

It's been moved and seconded. Any further discussion about adding the $500,000 for A and E for the museum? (no response)

If not, we'll take a roll.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: It's five to four, motion carries.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Any other discussions?

Now we're on the horns of a dilemma.

MR. FERRARA: Now we've got a catch 22.

MS. MOLNAR: Now we're up to the total staff recommendation with $15.280 million. I add $500,000 to that, and it's $15.780 million.

Do I hear a motion to approve the $15.780 million?

MR. ROTH: I make a motion to approve $15.780 million.

MS. MOLNAR: Do I hear a second?

SENATOR KENNY: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, any discussion? (no response)

If not, we'll take a roll.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: The vote is five to four. That is not sufficient to--

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. So we're back to the original staff recommendation.

MS. VILLANE: I will make a motion that we move that original recommendation.

MR. DAVIDOFF: No, no, no, we're not back--

MR. FERRARA: No, now we have to make a motion to remove the Battleship.

MR. ROTH: Or something else.

MS. VILLANE: I make a motion that removes the $500,000, and we go with the original recommendation from staff.

MR. FERRARA: Second.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: I'll second that.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I'd like to discuss it, please.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. DAVIDOFF: This is my fourth year on this Commission, and if the majority-- We could -- both sides -- we have a five-to-four split here. We could both play these games, and this could go down and not be passed. I don't think a minority of this Committee should be forcing a change in one item, and I would hope that you'd reconsider your previous votes. And, in light of the spirit of how we've worked in the last four years, generally somebody wins or loses unless they feel very strongly on something, which you may. But I, myself -- I think that we should go with the majority's viewpoint, and I think everybody else should try to support that and get it passed.

MS. VILLANE: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: And I speak for myself. I don't think, by voting no, I am not for the Battleship New Jersey being retrofitted. I just think it is premature at this time. And I don't think that the need really comes to this Commission. And if the Navy decides where it should be berthed and extra money is needed, I am sure we will find the money to do it.

MR. DAVIDOFF: That was really not the point I was making. The point I was making was that once we -- on one of these smaller matters, we go five to four, we really should then go and support the entire project, unless we had a very strong feeling that it seriously -- here it is only 3 percent of the entire budget, and we're holding up the approval because of an item that's 3 percent, of which the majority of the people here would like. And it's not that-- I know you're not against it, but what I see here is administration verses nonadministration, and it's-- I don't know if it's really healthy.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Madam Chair, I suggest calling the question.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: And I guess we need a clarification as to by what majority, simple or super, that will be sufficient to remove this item from the overall resolution.

SENATOR KENNY: Simple.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I think simple.

MS. MOLNAR: Simple.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Okay.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Then you have to go vote on the overall resolution again.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Right.

Call a question--

MS. MOLNAR: There was a motion to move--

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Ms. Villane's made a motion. I will second that motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, to remove the $500,000 and go back to the original staff recommendation of $15.280 million.

J A C K S T O F F A: Madam Chair, if I may.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. STOFFA: Jack Stoffa. I work for the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs as a Master Planner. I'm a retired military veteran, and I'd like to thank the Committee members in the past for supporting the New Jersey Army, National Guard, and the Military Veterans' Department.

We have an opportunity here to capitalize no matter where the New Jersey is berthed in our great state. And what we've seen over the years is that if we are not ready with a plan and ready to go -- when you're dealing with the United States Navy, Army, Air Force -- if we are not ready to go, it stalls the process for at least 18 months. That's why we are requesting this $500,000 now so that we can have the plan in effect, ready to go, so as soon as they give us the green light, we're able to enact that plan. And it's extremely critical that we always keep in our minds that when we're dealing with the feds, the times that we're used to working with, within our constraints and our cycles, are doubled. So I would ask that you please consider this $500,000 appropriation for next year.

Thank you.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: To this dilemma-- I think you should be aware that a $500,000 planning item is truly not a real capital issue and that Military and Veterans' Affairs might be better served bringing this in as part of your operating budget and discussing it in that forum.

The other thing that I will say is that it is unfortunate that three members of the Committee could not be here today. And one of the wonderful things about democracy is that if you happen to need this process amended, Senator Kenny, Senator Littell, and the Assemblymen will certainly see that that happens through the appropriations process. And this funding will be available to the Department July 1, which certainly gives us enough lead time to talk about planning a museum, the role of your Department, the role of other departments and museums, what are the aspirations of the Navy, and so on.

I think a lot of this is part -- (a) the underpinning of why we didn't feel the need to rush forward with $500,000 today and why earlier I voted against it.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, so there's a possibility of operating moneys July 1.

MR. FERRARA: Well, I think Peter's also saying that we can amend any recommendation through the appropriations process. So if, in fact, it is moving, the Legislature could add the $500,000. And assuming the Governor doesn't veto it, it would be in the final appropriations act.

I'm just curious, once the feds -- once the Navy has identified where it's going to be berthed, do they have any responsibility or any oversight over how we develop a museum? Are they willing to put up money? What's going to be the Navy's role after we've identified where it's going to be berthed.

M A J O R M I K E D Z U R I S I N: Good morning.

As far as that process goes, they -- the Navy will still remain the owner of the Battleship. They never relinquish that ownership to us. It's more or less of a partnership that they give us. And they allow us to go in there and build the actual museum or renovate certain parts of the ship as they deem necessary.

As far as the money, I really can't speak on that. That hasn't been determined yet, at this time. But that's how the process actually goes. We actually don't get ownership of it.

MS. VILLANE: But the Navy doesn't control what we put in that museum. Can they veto the plan that we decide to do that? I don't think they can.

MR. STOFFA: They can if -- as long as we don't affect the actual superstructure of the ship itself. In the event that another military action -- if it were to be commissioned again to be called back into duty service, there are certain areas that we would not be allowed to touch.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Madam Chair.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: I think it is important to clarify my vote and what will continue to be my vote, particularly in light of Mr. Davidoff's comments.

It is not so much the sum and substance of this particular issue, which, as Mr. Davidoff pointed out, is a relatively small amount in the overall. But as Mr. Geniesse stated at the outset of this meeting, we have declined many, many, many meritorious requests here today, some of them involving facility maintenance, some of them involving life safety improvements. We discussed, momentarily, the medevac helicopters, obviously, a life and safety issue. And we've had to make some hard choices. And I guess, in my mind, this is not such a hard choice, again, because significant dollars have already been committed, again, to a very, very worthy project, bringing the Battleship New Jersey here, home to New Jersey and a continuing commitment to do so if and when the need arises, notwithstanding -- I understand -- the very fine planning by the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs.

As someone who operates a Department myself, I know what goes into that advanced planning. And I want to commend the gentlemen and General Glazar for doing that, because I think it's prudent to do so. You don't want to get caught off guard when you need to be ready. But again I feel -- am particularly comforted by Mr. Lawrence's comments about having the moneys available if and when they are needed.

And so in light of that, I believe the prudent course of action is to leave the staff's recommendations in place and vote for the DMOVA budget as proposed.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I just wanted to make one comment.

The staff has done a yeoman's job in putting all of this together and assisting us. And I just wanted to-- Even though, out of thousands of items here, there may be five or six we disagree on, the staff has done a terrific job, and their explanations were thorough. And I just want to thank them for that.

MR. FERRARA: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you. I agree with that.

Okay. We have a motion that's been made and seconded to go back to the original $15.280 million and removing the $500,000.

Any other discussion? (no response)

If not, we'll take a vote.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I have a question of -- voting, yes, would bring it back to $15.280 million, and then we'd have to vote again. In other words, you're doing a five-to-four vote now. And then if we approve it, then we have to vote again on the $15.280 million.

MR. GENIESSE: Yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: And if we vote against this, then we have another opportunity to vote for the--

MR. FERRARA: Either way, we have to vote on the whole--

MR. DAVIDOFF: So this is two votes.

MS. MOLNAR: Two votes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: No.

MS. MOLNAR: To delete the--

SENATOR KENNY: I think we should-- I'm in favor of this, but if the administration is opposed to it, as evidenced by the four votes, I don't think we should belabor it. And I think we ought to rely on the representation that the moneys will be made available in a timely fashion. So rather than go back and forth, back and forth, I will support the motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay, thank you.

Take roll vote.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: No.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Motion is carried.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MS. VILLANE: I will make a motion that we accept the recommendation of staff of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs.

MS. MOLNAR: Of $15.280 million.

MS. VILLANE: Of $15.280 million.

MS. MOLNAR: Do I hear a second?

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Any questions or comments? (no response)

If not, we'll take a vote.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MS. MOLNAR: We're back to the original.

MR. GENIESSE: I guess he could vote yes. (referring to Senator Littell.)

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Okay, we're up to the Department of State. The first one is the State Museum Cultural Complex, and the staff is recommending $2.487 million.

MR. FERRARA: I move.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Oh, this has been changed.

MS. MOLNAR: It's $2.487 million. It's been updated now to include Morven.

MS. VILLANE: I will make the motion that we accept the staff recommendation of $2.487 million.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

Any discussion? (no response)

If not, we'll take a vote.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell is a yes.

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MS. VILLANE: Why couldn't we do that one first? (laughter)

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: We only have 15 people here from the Department of State.

MS. MOLNAR: The next one is the Department of State, Higher Education Institutions. The Commission staff is recommending zero. They're saying there's alternate funding from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund Act of 1999.

SENATOR KENNY: I have a question on this.

Is it customary that we recommend zero on these requests? Is that what our history is -- last year?

MR. FERRARA: Last year was the first time that the bond issue was approved.

SENATOR KENNY: Okay.

MR. FERRARA: So we recommended zero last year. But prior to that, when there isn't bond money available, we do give them money.

SENATOR KENNY: I see.

MR. DAVIDOFF: We did, but the budget didn't.

MR. FERRARA: You're saying last year the Commission made a recommendation -- the Governor recommended zero. That could be true. I don't remember.

The Commission recommended--

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: The staff had come in with a zero recommendation in anticipation that the $550 million Higher Ed Capital Program would be passed. The Commission reversed that and had made a recommendation to make funding. The Governor, ultimately, did not provide any funding in the budget.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Any discussion? (no response)

Do I hear a motion to approve and second?

MR. ROTH: Move to approve.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: So moved.

MS. VILLANE: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Did you want to hear from Higher Ed? They have a representative here. (no response)

No, okay. We'll vote on it.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Do we have to vote at all being that we're not making a recommendation for any money.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes. Our recommendation is zero.

MS. VILLANE: Zero.

MS. MOLNAR: We have to still make a recommendation.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Okay. And that recommendation is in light of the fact that it is being funded through another act.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. We'll take a vote.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell is a yes.

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

Next is the Department of Transportation. There is a transfer of $528 million to the Transportation Trust Fund -- and $1.

Why is that? It's not a round number.

Oh, not $1. It's $528.001 million. Accountants like round numbers.

SENATOR KENNY: Is someone here from DOT?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: No.

This is, more or less, a placeholder. The Department of Transportation goes to the Legislature, in March, with their capital program, where it's ultimately approved.

This number is arrived at by calculation. It includes the amounts that are dedicated for transportation purposes, etc.

MR. FERRARA: So really, the number that eventually is in the Appropriations Act doesn't necessarily reflect what's in the Governor's budget. It would be an updated number? Would that be correct?

MR. SHIDLOWSKI: No, that's-- The Legislature voices their approval or disapproval of the individual projects that are funded by the Transportation Trust Fund Authority. These funds, which go to the Transportation Trust Fund Authority, pay some portion of the pay-as-you-go program and debt service on the bonds that are issued by the Transportation Trust Fund Authority.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Do I hear a motion to approve?

MS. VILLANE: I'll make a motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Second?

MR. FERRARA: Second. I'm sorry.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Any comment? (no response)

If not, we'll take a vote.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell is a yes.

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz. (no response)

Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

The next department is the Department of Treasury. The whole amount is for the Office of Information Technology. We're recommending $20.885 million, which is almost the whole amount. The only thing that's not being recommended is the State House Complex upgrades of $70,000, which is being recommended to be sent over to the Building Authority as part of their renovations.

Any questions or comments?

Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: There's a video conferencing system here for $800,000, which is to allow people in two offices to communicate more effectively. For $250 I can get a little camera on my computer, and we can talk real fine. I just don't see it as a high priority. And if somebody's here who wants to convince me otherwise, my tendency is to delete that.

MR. ROTH: Madam Chair, could someone speak as to what exactly we're talking about here?

MR. FERRARA: Let me just say that OIT is the Office of Information Technology. Although it's housed in the Department of Treasury, it's responsible for every State department. So we're not talking here a video teleconferencing system specifically for the Department of Treasury. It's basically for all State government. And we have made inroads in video conferencing in such areas as parole hearings so that you don't have to bring the inmate to the parole office, you can do it -- and you save the transportation costs and the costs of the guard to accompany. So it's really trying to expand on that concept of using modern technology to reduce the cost of government. And I think it's a good investment.

MR. ROTH: Is this similar to the off-sight conference center that Rutgers has to conduct seminars throughout the state?

MR. FERRARA: It could be used for training, which, yes, certainly-- Instead of bringing all the people to the location, they go to one place closer by and hear live and be able to interact with the source of the information.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Mr. Roth, we have -- the Legislature was kind enough to make an investment in the Human Resource Development Institute, which is housed in my Department, the Department of Personnel. And as part of that renovation, we were lucky enough to be able to develop a training center with an interactive teleconferencing center there. And it really is terrific. It's a terrific resource. We have done hookups from 10 to 15 different sites. And it's been amazing what we've been able to accomplish in terms of linking up large, large groups of people without having to move them through airports, frankly, because we've done training sessions from remote locations. And I suspect that's what this is, although I can't speak for OIT. I will tell you that it was a very good investment for our operation, and I was thankful the Legislature made that investment two years ago.

MR. ROTH: Thank you, Commissioner Mintz.

I've just participated in one of these conferences where Rutgers provided training for finance officers on-- I thought it was marvelous how they put it all together from four locations simultaneously. I think they trained several hundred finance officers in a four-hour period.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Question.

What is the utilization of your facility? Could OTIS borrow it?

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: They could, although it's on a much smaller scale than I suspect OIT is looking at. It is used for training. It's the training institute for State, county, and local government, and so we use it for training, strictly.

MR. DAVIDOFF: But they're just talking about connecting three or four places together that they say -- to help in daily operation, planning crisis meetings -- in the write-up that they have here.

It just seems, with all the priorities and leaky roofs and everything else, it just-- I understand the investments, and they have a lot in the computer area that are very, very important. This one just--

Let me just make a motion to delete it, and if it dies for lack of a second, then there is no need for any further discussion.

MS. MOLNAR: Is there a second to delete the $800,000 conferencing center system? (no response)

Sorry, Marty.

If not, can we go back to the original recommendation of $20.885 million?

MS. VILLANE: I'll make a motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

MR. FERRARA: Second.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay.

No discussion? (no response)

We'll vote.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell is a yes.

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

The last department is Interdepartmental. The Commission is recommending $137.650 million.

MS. VILLANE: I make a motion that we approve the staff's recommendation of $137.650 million.

MR. ROTH: I'll second the motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Okay. Any discussion? (no response)

If not, we'll take a vote.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Davidoff.

MR. DAVIDOFF: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Annese.

MR. ANNESE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Roth.

MR. ROTH: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Senator Littell is a yes.

Senator Kenny.

SENATOR KENNY: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Lawrence.

DEPUTY TREASURER LAWRENCE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Commissioner Mintz.

COMMISSIONER MINTZ: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Villane.

MS. VILLANE: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Mr. Ferrara.

MR. FERRARA: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: Ms. Molnar.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes.

MR. GENIESSE: So moved.

MS. MOLNAR: Now, we have one important piece of other business.

It has been an honor to serve with Assemblyman Romano and Mr. Davidoff. I mean, Mr. Davidoff, your performance has been stellar. So we'd like to honor you today with a resolution, which Mr. Ferrara has.

MR. FERRARA: First of all, thank you, Madam Chairwoman, for allowing me to be the person to read this.

The New Jersey Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning Resolution No. 99-8 honoring Assemblyman Louis A. Romano -- I'm really sorry he can't be here--

MR. GENIESSE: Mike, why don't you wait. We're passing it out right now.

MR. FERRARA: Oh, okay.

MS. VILLANE: I have to go, but I am for this.

MR. FERRARA: You vote yes.

I'll start over.

The New Jersey Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning Resolution No. 99-8 honoring Assemblyman Louis A. Romano and E. Martin Davidoff.

Whereas, Assemblyman Romano and Martin Davidoff served faithfully on the New Jersey Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning; and

Whereas, the tenure on the Commission of both Assemblyman Romano and Martin Davidoff has been marked by professionalism and dedication; and

Whereas, the Commission's tasks were made easier as a result of their efforts; and

Whereas, their insightful questions and thoughtful comments and humor contributed to the overall improvement in the capital planning process; and

Whereas, the improvement in the capital planning process preserved and protected the State's capital investments in buildings, recreational facilities, and infrastructure; and

Whereas, such improvements create a positive and safe environment for the citizens of New Jersey, employees, and those dependent on government services; and

Whereas, such improvements are necessary for civilized society;

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the New Jersey Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning honors the work and contribution of Assemblyman Louis A. Romano and E. Martin Davidoff, wishes them well, and looks forward to the contributions they will make to the State and the citizens of New Jersey in the future.

Signed, B. Carol Molnar, Esq. Commission Chairperson. December 10, 1999. (applause)

MS. MOLNAR: There's no mention of the bagels.

MR. FERRARA: They'll get signed copies of this.

MR. ROTH: I second that motion.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you.

It has, indeed, been an honor.

I don't know if anyone else here wants to make a statement about serving with Lou. Lou is entertaining. He had perfect attendance until today.

SENATOR KENNY: I just want to, as the legislator who is here, on behalf of Senator Littell and myself-- Both Marty and Lou are truly outstanding. Frequently, resolutions are, sometimes, a little fluffy, but this is actually very accurate because you can tell the level of preparation that Marty and Lou brought to this Commission. They really prepared. A lot more than I did, to be quite frank. And they did their homework, and they made a great contribution to the state.

I'm sorry that Lou is not here. I'm sure he's going to appreciate it. And hopefully, before the end of the session, he'll have an opportunity to see most of you around the State House.

Thank you, on behalf of Lou.

And congratulations, Marty.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you, Senator.

MR. FERRARA: I would also propose that if Marty changes his mind, that we can rescind this resolution, at least the part--

MS. MOLNAR: Absolutely. I'm sure the Treasurer would like that.

Are there any other comments or questions? (no response)

If not, we will be adjourned until sometime-- We probably won't meet until--

MR. DAVIDOFF: May I--

MS. MOLNAR: Oh, yes.

MR. DAVIDOFF: I would like to thank you all for the privilege of serving with you. I've certainly learned a lot, and I found you a very patient and a listening group.

I'm truly honored to be included in the same resolution as Assemblyman Romano. I mean, really, I'm not in the same class as him. He is quite a humanitarian and really a great individual. And I really enjoyed serving with him.

And I just-- This has been a growing experience for me, and I very much thank you.

Thank you very much for this.

MS. MOLNAR: Thank you for serving. (applause)

Our next meeting is probably not until sometime in 2000.

SENATOR KENNY: Well, happy holidays to everybody.

MS. MOLNAR: Yes, happy holidays.

The meeting is adjourned.

(MEETING CONCLUDED)