Former New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak is our guest contributor this week. If you would like to be a guest contributor and write a post for our website, send an e-mail to

By: Senator Ray Lesniak

New Jersey is in a fiscal crises, yet government continues to spend taxpayers’ money like a drunken sailor. Case in point, the Parole Board with 13 political appointees now making $140,000/yr. plus pension and health benefits and a full month’s vacation.

Adding insult to injury, while our prison population has gone down by 20%, the Parole Board still has 13 members.

There’s a simple solution - replace the political appointees with retired judges who get paid $300/day, already have their pension and health benefits, and who will work on a “as needed basis” - saving $2mil. a year.

On June 9, 2016, I introduced legislation to do exactly that. It was never released from committee. This waste of taxpayers’ dollars was called out back in October, 2009 by a former member of the Parole Board, Oscar Doyle, who stated “the board is rife with excessive spending that rewards political cronies with high salaries and benefits for a light work load”.

Doyle contended “the Parole Board’s 13 full-time members, who benefit from political patronage appointments, work just three-to-five hours many days for salaries of $116,000 to $123,000 a year, plus cars, four weeks vacation and full health and pension benefits.”

Here we are years later and the state continues to burn $2 mil./yr of taxpayers’ dollars to keep a political patronage system alive. When will it ever end?

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