Two Republican New Jersey General Assembly members have said they will appeal a court decision filed last week which ruled in favor of the state Treasury Department keeping toll projection data confidential. Assembly members Jennifer Beck, R-Mercer, and Sean Kean, R-Monmouth, are seeking to make the information public. The toll estimates are one piece within Gov. Jon Corzine’s asset monetization study, the details of which the governor will announce in his state-of-the-state speech set for Jan. 8, according to Lilo Stainton, a spokeswoman for Corzine.The Corzine administration maintains that the toll projection data, compiled by Steer Davies and Gleave Ltd., a British transportation consulting firm, is still in draft form and not a final document. After hearing oral arguments on the case in mid-November, Judge Linda Feinberg last week ruled in favor of the administration and keeping the Steer Davies data confidential. Beck and Kean, along with Minority Leader Alex DeCroce, R-Morris and Passaic, claim that since taxpayers have already paid $800,000 for the data, it should be available to the public.“We are greatly concerned that data and information taxpayers paid to receive will disappear from the public eye forever,” Kean said in a press release. “We are fighting for a larger principle here, which is to prevent any government from being permitted to censor data and information from the public when they have paid to produce it. It is a fight worth having.”Beck and Kean, who both won their reelection bids on Nov. 6, filed suit on Sept. 27 in Mercer County Superior Court after the Treasury Department declined their open records request for the information in August.For more than a year, the Corzine administration has been working with UBS Securities LLC to evaluate how the state could generate additional funds from its assets, most notably the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.
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