Thursday, July 28, 2011

Christie: Motor Vehicle Commission Fact Check

Gov. Christie reportedly claimed on Tuesday that the Legislature cut $35 million from the budget for MVC technology improvements, but here's a simple fact check.

The Democratic budget included $5.5 million in cuts to information technology, but nothing that the administration said was directly related to MVC computers.

A press release from the governor's office even stated that $5.5 million figure on July 13.  It was sent out at 5:35 p.m. that day.  Go back and check.  (You won't find that release on the governor's website.)

Now please consider the following:

*In Christie's first year, FY 2011, the state spent almost $80 million less in total IT spending than it did the year before.  So Christie is trying to blame others when in reality he did major damage in FY 2011.

*The MVC chief seemed quite pleased with the current state of information technology when he testified before the budget committee.  See below:

"In speaking of the advancement of a technology investment such as the DARTSS system, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the major progress we've seen on our MATRX project, which is already in the second phase of a three-phase roll out.  As we've noted in the past, this is a complete system overall that will provide improvement to every facet of motor vehicle services..."


"Whether it's a new venture such as sports plates, security enhancement projects or technology and infrastructure investments, there have been a great amount of progress once again at the MVC, progress that we will take into the next fiscal year..."

And don't forget this:

*In the FY 2012 budget, more than $136 million in MVC revenue was raided for other use - $65 million more than in FY 2011.

*$85.8 million goes directly to the general fund.

*$20 million is transferred from the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Fund to NJ Transit.

*$30.9 million is transferred from MVC revenues to a variety of other departments

*If the administration believes MVC has such a great need for IT funding, why didn't it let MVC keep more of its revenue instead of raiding almost twice as much as last year?

Perhaps the governor should spend more time trying to fix the MVC problem as head of the executive branch and less time blaming others with figures that cannot be supported.

No comments: