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Essex Dems welcome DiNapoli, celebrate victories

Still, she said, Owens' offer to visit was meaningful, as was the presence of DiNapoli.

"Tom DiNapoli is one of the nicest, most principled people in state government, and we have promoted and adopted his message of open, transparent government," Corey said.

DiNapoli issued a report in late October criticizing the State Legislature for repeatedly diverting funds from the state's Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund over the past several years.

According to the report, only 35 percent of the money in the fund has gone to repair roads and bridges since 1991. He pointed to the Crown Point Bridge as a specific example of crucial infrastructure that fell into severe disrepair as a result.

"Knowing he put out that report was part of why we wanted him to come here," said Corey.

DiNapoli took time during the dinner to speak with Denton Publications, and was asked about his report and other issues facing the state.

"We need to address this problem, and if we don't do it right, we're going to have more emergency situations like the one we had here in Essex County," he said.

He also stated that while the state works to cut its spending, it should do so in a way that doesn't just shift the burden to local municipalities.

"It's not going to be easy," he said, stressing the need to reduce spending by consolidating services at the state and local levels. "We need to recognize that we don't have the money to do everything people would like us to do."

Speaking in front of those present at the dinner, DiNapoli emphasized his desire for the state to get its spending under control.

One of the challenges facing the state right now, DiNapoli said, is that its revenue streams have been diminished significantly by an ailing financial sector. That, combined with deficit spending year after year, is draining state resources so much that it does not have enough money to fulfill appropriations in the current budget year.

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