GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS

Improving the Function and Transparency of Government

GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS

When it comes to Unemployment Insurance, Motor Vehicles, NJ Transit, or other state agencies, our residents too often encounter government agencies that fail when they are needed most. The Garden State Initiative works to innovate the function of government agencies to best serve our citizens while promoting transparency to the public.

STAY IN THE LOOP WITH NEW JERSEY GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS

50th

Road Conditions

50th for road condition and cost effectiveness (Source: Reason Foundation).

#2

Public School Ranking

Public School ranking: #2 in academic performance, spending 3rd most at $20,021.

$28,643

Pension Liabilities

Unfunded pension liabilities in New Jersey sit at $28,643 per capita, 46th in the U.S. (Source: ALEC)

F

Financial Health Rating

New Jersey is rated F for fiscal management and public debt (Source: Truth in Accounting).

FEATURED POST

Op-Ed: Missteps behind America’s energy security challenges | Opinion

The following op-ed appeared on NJ.com and in the Jersey Journal. By Regina M. Egea When the president made the monumental announcement that he’d be releasing 1 million barrels of oil a day from our strategic petroleum reserves until October, the American public was hopeful this would be one of the actions needed to drive down high energy costs at…

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THE LATEST WORK ON GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS

OP-EDS

Op-Ed: Missteps behind America’s energy security challenges | Opinion

The following op-ed appeared on NJ.com and in the Jersey Journal. By Regina M. Egea When the president made the…

OP-EDS

NorthJersey.com: New Jersey’s pension fund is crossing the tipping point | Opinion

By Andrew Biggs and Thomas J. Healey As members of the New Jersey Legislature consider a proposal to add themselves…

PODCAST

PODCAST: NJ Pension Fund Crossing the Tipping Point: Looming Impact of More Retirees than Workers

In this episode of The GSI Briefing , Regina Egea is joined by Andrew Biggs, Ph.D. of the American Enterprise…

OP-EDS

NorthJersey.com: NJ public pensions face fiscal peril as new police and fire retirees grow, report says

By Dustin Racioppi New Jersey’s pension system for public employees costs more than most other states while offering "generous" benefits that…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: The cost of public transit in New Jersey is being paid by those with the least access to it

By Jonathan Peters and Richard FlanaganAs the authors of Garden State Initiative’s new report, “The Road to Equitable Transportation Policy…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight News: Opinion: Why NJ’s not yet ready for roads teeming with electric vehicles

By Regina M. Egea and Sal RisalvatoIn 2020 New Jersey’s Electric Vehicle Act set an ambitious goal of getting 330,000…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: South Jersey deserves fair share of transportation

By Regina Egea and Christina RennaFor many years, South Jersey residents have complained that while paying their fair share of…

PODCAST

PODCAST: The Road to Equitable Transportation Policy in New Jersey

In this episode of The GSI Briefing, Regina Egea is joined by Dr. Jonathan Peters, who along with his colleagues, Drs.…

PODCAST

PODCAST: NJ’s Energy Master Plan: What It Will Cost You

In this episode of the The GSI Briefing, GSI’s president Regina Egea was joined by Rick Mroz, former president of…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Nonpartisan group wants administration to put price on clean-energy transition ASAP

By Tom Johnson, Energy & Environmental Issues ReporterA nonpartisan research group has called on the Murphy administration to put a…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Now is our chance to transform New Jersey and the future of our cities

By Regina M. EgeaA strong and stable economic future for New Jersey as a whole, as well as specifically our…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Cost of NJ’s green-energy plan remains unknown

By Tom JohnsonThe state is hiring an outside consultant to analyze what its transition to clean energy will cost ratepayers,…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: Our tolls are paying for NJ Transit’s failures

By Regina M. EgeaA dysfunctional Motor Vehicle Commission operation since last July. An unnecessary gas tax last August. Double-digit toll…

IN THE NEWS

GSI’s Egea Talks Energy on NJCPA’s IssuesWatch Podcast

From the New Jersey Society of CPAs IssuesWatch Podcast, hosted by Jeff Kaszerman, vice president of government relations: The vast…

IN THE NEWS

Bond Buyer: Murphy’s full pension payment revives debate over New Jersey overhaul

By Paul BurtonGov. Phil Murphy’s call for New Jersey to make its first full pension contribution in 25 years is…

IN THE NEWS

APP.com: How the Police Bank Millions Through Their Union Contracts

By Andrew Ford, Asbury Park Press, and Agnes Chang, Jeff Kao and Agnel Philip, ProPublicaOne town’s police contract guaranteed a…

PODCAST

GSI Briefing: Transit and Transportation Priorities Post-COVID

The restructuring of traditional office arrangements and the widespread adoption of home offices are together challenging our region's transportation authorities…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: COVID changed how we work. Experts say commuting in N.J. must now change, too.

By Larry HiggsTransit agencies have to make changes to their service and operations to prepare for how the work week…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Pension payments, maintaining a robust surplus, promised tax relief: NJ’s looming budget challenges

By John ReitmeyerComing off a year marked by credit-rating downgrades and major revenue losses triggered by the pandemic, managing the…

IN THE NEWS

Wall Street Journal: The N.J. Teachers Who Get Paid Not to Teach

By Jon Riches and Justin MeyersShould New Jersey’s taxpayers—strained under one of the heaviest tax burdens in the country—be paying…

IN THE NEWS

Trentonian: Of course we should merge transportation agencies … and everything else

By Jeff EdelsteinEvery so often - more often than Halley’s Comet, less often than the number of Hayley’s you’ll meet…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight News: How spending on NJ’s transportation projects this year quietly went from $2B to $2.6B

By John ReitmeyerDespite revenue losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration has turbocharged spending on transportation projects…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: GSI report – Gas Tax fails to deliver infrastructure improvements

By Emily Bader As New Jersey reopens and residents return back to work, many more are on the roads utilizing…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: It’s time for NJ’s public employees to make some sacrifices

By Michele N. SiekerkaWith New Jersey in the throes of a historic economic crisis, it is abundantly clear that tough…

PRESS RELEASE

GSI calls on Gov. Murphy to Veto Toll Increases on Turnpike, Parkway & AC Expressway

Garden State Initiative’s president, Regina M. Egea, issued the following statement calling upon Governor Phil Murphy to veto the toll…

IN THE NEWS

Bloomberg: Murphy to Beg, Borrow With Pledge of Billions for N.J. Pensions

By Elise Young & David VoreacosIn the aftermath of the new coronavirus, New Jersey’s finances have been a blur of…

IN THE NEWS

Center Square NJ: Federal stimulus package reportedly includes $1.25 billion for New Jersey Transit

by Joe Chen(The Center Square) – The $2 trillion stimulus package passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday reportedly…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Toll-Hike Plan for Turnpike, Parkway Gets Mixed Reviews

by John ReitmeyerA plan to hike tolls on both the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike to help fund…

IN THE NEWS

Politico: Coronavirus turmoil scrambles state budget talks, threatens pension gains

by Ryan HutchinsThe financial turmoil that has chased the coronavirus across the globe is threatening to upend state budget talks,…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: Residents shouldn’t overpay to make NJ clean energy leader

Gov. Phil Murphy outlined the state’s new Energy Master Plan at Stockton University recently, adding some policies and initiatives to…

IN THE NEWS

ProPublica: What Happens When a Health Plan Has No Limits? An Acupuncturist Earns $677 a Session.

by Marshall AllenJudging by the marketing, it would seem that the teachers of New Jersey have collectively thrown out their…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Sweeney Seeks Local Support for Public-Worker Benefit Reforms

Saying New Jersey has run “out of time” to address its major fiscal problems, Senate President Steve Sweeney urged local…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: N.J.’s public worker pension system is the worst-funded in the nation. Again.

By Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for NJ.comNew Jersey’s pension fund for government workers remains the most severely underfunded in the…

IN THE NEWS

NJTV News: Unhappy with the state of Jersey’s roads? Then get a load of this

Asking New Jersey drivers what they think of the condition of the state’s roads is likely to produce a response…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: Getting the most from N.J. infrastructure investments

By Regina M. Egea, Garden State InitiativeThere is broad agreement that infrastructure is the lifeblood of New Jersey’s economy. In…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: There’s a cheaper way to fix roads in N.J. We’re just doing it wrong, study says.

Nothing in New Jersey is cheap, from the mortgage to taxes and many things in between.The price to build roads…

IN THE NEWS

NJBiz.com: Garden State Initiative projects $2B savings in roads and bridges

Garden State Initiative released a report Wednesday identifying $2 billion in savings that can be reinvested for tangible improvements to New Jersey…

IN THE NEWS

NJ.com: Why should N.J. taxpayers pay 50 percent more for public workers’ benefits, pensions?

By Regina EgeaWhile we’ve been hearing a lot about the U.S. debt ceiling lately, reporters and politicians know how difficult…

IN THE NEWS

ROI-NJ: GSI analysis: Big gap in benefit cost in public, private sectors in N.J.

Garden State Initiative on Thursday analyzed the latest employee compensation data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found major differences in…

IN THE NEWS

APP.com: State benefits hurt middle class

The debate over what to do about the fiscal crisis with the public employee pension and health costs is front…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Is NJ’s $1.2B School Transportation System Ripe for Savings?

SCHOOL DISTRICTS SPEND MORE EACH YEAR FERRYING PUPILS THAN ON SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS. A NEW REPORT SUGGESTS BIG…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: Sweeney Seizes the Mic, Holds His Own Town Halls, But Where’s Murphy?

Hitting the town-hall circuit to pitch the latest big policy initiative is a time-honored tradition in New Jersey, and in…

IN THE NEWS

APP.com: NJ’s $117 billion spending problem, writ large: Bergmann

Opinion Editor Randy Bergmann of the Asbury Park Press (APP.com) writes on the Adding It All Up report issued by Garden State Initiative this…

OP-EDS

GSI’s Egea: You don’t have to outrun the bear — just the other guy

The following opinion piece was published on ROI-NJ.com on January 2, 2019. For New Jersey’s economy to win compared with…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: As Sweeney talks pension reform, rating-agency report confirms threat to state

New Jersey’s finances are a mess. Despite years of massive taxation, officials can barely pay the interest on its $48…

IN THE NEWS

APP.com: Opinion: N.J. pensions: State must deal with budget’s third rail

In August,  the Economic Policy Workgroup, established by state Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, with extensive participation from Republican and Democratic…

IN THE NEWS

NJ Spotlight: S&P Notes Progress but Ranks NJ’s Among Worst Funded Pension Systems

New Jersey still has one of the nation’s worst-funded public-employee pension plans despite recent efforts to improve conditions using larger…

IN THE NEWS

APP.com: Opinion: Without benefits reform, Murphy economic goals unachievable

New Jersey Gov.  Phil Murphy recently revealed his economic development master plan with a 2025 horizon. He is focused on…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: $496M Health Benefits Savings is Overdue Cut In NJ Wasteful Spending

Gov. Phil Murphy announced last month that his administration had reached a deal on government employee and retiree health benefits…

IN THE NEWS

NorthJersey.com: Health Benefits Changes Welcome; More Needed

Progress is progress, but let’s not get too carried away by Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan announced this week to save…

IN THE NEWS

Press of Atlantic City: Sweeney candid on pensions in push for true fiscal reform

State Senate President Steve Sweeney’s bipartisan task force has delivered an impressive list of recommendations on how to restore financial…

IN THE NEWS

NorthJersey.com: Opinion: Continued Inaction on NJ’s pension crisis risks insolvency

The state pension crisis registers with most people as distant thunder at most. But just as a hurricane hundreds of miles…