State Budget Committee approves bill to reform NJSPCA

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

The state Senate Budget Committee voted to push through a bill that would reform the New Jersey SPCA.

The bill, proposed by Sen. Ray Lesniak, comes after a year-long Kane In Your Corner investigation exposed shady financial practices and a lack of enforcement. A state Commission of Investigation also released a scathing report in September, calling the agency “wolves in sheep’s clothing,’ due to fraud, waste and abuse.

NJSPCA officers testified on behalf of the agency in order to convince the committee not to advance the bill.

“If you can’t find any corruption, fraud and abuse, because no one here’s been arrested or charged with anything, then let it go. What are we here for?” asked NJSPCA Officer Phil Amato.

But a majority of the committee voted in favor of the bill.

“When something just never seems to be resolved, you can’t do the same thing over and over and over again,” said Sen. Jeff Van Drew. “I think it’s time for a change and I vote yes.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate, while a companion bill is working its way through the state Assembly.

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