TRENTON - (AP) - New Jersey's Transportation commissionersays the state and its towns and cities have spent $250 million onsnow removal in the past two winters.

Commissioner Jim Simpson says the state's tab was $132 millionto clear roads and parking lots during consecutive intense winters. Simpson said Wednesday that there have been 45 "snow events"since Republican Gov. Chris Christie took office 14 months ago.

He joked that he's "beginning to think Mother Nature is aDemocrat."

Christie was criticized for taking off for Disney World with hisfamily just ahead of a late-December blizzard with Lt. Gov. KimGuadagno also vacationing out of state.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney declared a state of emergencyas up to 2 feet of snow piled up, stranding hundreds on roadways.