NJ lawmakers file suit to halt $300M State House project

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have filed a lawsuit seeking to halt Gov. Chris Christie's $300 million State House renovation.

Democratic state Sen. Ray Lesniak and Republican state Sens Christopher "Kip" Bateman and Michael Doherty filed the suit on Monday in Superior Court.

The lawmakers argue that Christie's renovation should have been subject to legislative approval. Instead it was authorized in April by the State Capitol Joint Management Commission. That panel approved up to $300 million in bonds to be issued by the Economic Development Authority to pay for the project.

“It seems irresponsible and I think also the fact that it’s not being put before the Legislature is not appropriate,” says state Sen. Jennifer Beck.

The plan would take hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to fund the project.

“Couldn’t we have phased it in over time? Could we do a little now and a little next year and not take $300 million out of our revenue to do this all at once?” asks Beck.

Christie has called the executive wing of the building a firetrap and says the renovations are necessary.

The lawmakers say the plan violates constitutional separation of powers.

Lesniak is a candidate for governor.

Christie's administration didn't respond to requests for comment.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • New Jersey Republican lawmakers fight to retain some power

    New Jersey Republican lawmakers fight to retain some power

    Thursday, January 18 2018 8:45 PM EST2018-01-19 01:45:50 GMT
    Republicans may be outnumbered in the New Jersey State House, but GOP members say that this doesn’t mean they are without power.Republicans may be outnumbered in the New Jersey State House, but GOP members say that this doesn’t mean they are without power.

    Republicans may be outnumbered in the New Jersey State House, but GOP members say that this doesn’t mean they are without power.

    Republicans may be outnumbered in the New Jersey State House, but GOP members say that this doesn’t mean they are without power.

  • House votes to avert federal shutdown, Senate chances dim

    House votes to avert federal shutdown, Senate chances dim

    Thursday, January 18 2018 10:26 PM EST2018-01-19 03:26:17 GMT
    File photo the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DCFile photo the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC

    A divided House voted Thursday to prevent a government shutdown after an eleventh-hour deal brought conservatives aboard. But the GOP-written measure faced gloomy prospects in the Senate.

    A divided House voted Thursday to prevent a government shutdown after an eleventh-hour deal brought conservatives aboard. But the GOP-written measure faced gloomy prospects in the Senate.

  • What happens when the government shuts down?

    What happens when the government shuts down?

    Thursday, January 18 2018 6:38 AM EST2018-01-18 11:38:02 GMT
    Thursday, January 18 2018 11:31 AM EST2018-01-18 16:31:21 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) In this Oct. 1, 2013, file photo, a U.S. Park Police officer watches at left as a National Park Service employee posts a sign on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) In this Oct. 1, 2013, file photo, a U.S. Park Police officer watches at left as a National Park Service employee posts a sign on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

    A look at past government shutdowns and what will happen if Congress fails to pass a short-term spending bill by midnight Friday.

    A look at past government shutdowns and what will happen if Congress fails to pass a short-term spending bill by midnight Friday.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."