Senator Sarlo on the Impact of Newark's Lead Water Crisis

Steve Adubato speaks with Sen. Paul Sarlo (D) – NJ, Deputy Majority Leader, about the impact of Newark’s lead water crisis, the state of public employee pensions and tax policies in New Jersey.

10/5/2019 #321







"We are pleased to welcome State Senator Paul Sarlo, Deputy Majority Leader. Good to see you Senator. It's always great to be back with you Steve. Usually we talk about fiscal matters. And we will in just a moment. But do this. You have a background as a... an engineer? A civil engineer. You wrote a piece on, The Star Ledger, the print side you can... people can check it out. "Here's one solution for Newark's lead-tainted water misery." Go. Listen, this is just where I'm at on public infrastructure. Water systems in particular. We have an aging infrastructure in New Jersey. And many of these are cash-strapped systems. Cities are cash-strapped. It's very easy for elected officials and others to put investments in surface improvements. Parks. Roadway. Paving. And the underground infrastructure gets pushed to the side. Because you can't see it? You can't see it. And that's not... no blame on anybody sitting in office today. This has been going on decades and decades. Century-old problems. Newark's is century-old problems. Clearly, I believe one solution for Newark would be to look at their assets. They have some of the best reservoirs. They have great reservoirs. They have great treatment plants. And they have an amazing system of transmission mains that bring water from the reservoirs to the distribution system. Their problem - their distribution system - is what's failing. It's the lead service pipes. The only way you're gonna do this is to dig up streets and remove the lead service pipes. Big money? Big money. But use those assets. Monetize those assets. Talk to private investors. Some of the best in the country are here in New Jersey. Allow them in. I know it's a politically tough decision, but it works in other parts of the country, and it works in other parts of the state. It's a solution. They need to take a look at it. If you want to find out more about Senator Sarlo's guest commentary in the Star Ledger and, check it out. Fiscal matters. The public employee pension situation. Is it a crisis as we speak today? And by the way, make sure you check out our interview with State Senate President Steve Sweeney on this issue as well. Go ahead. Is it a crisis? So it's not a crisis as we sit here today. But clearly, we need to address the pension problem here in the state of New Jersey. Our state, probably one of the worst in the country when it comes to... we've underfunded the pension system. The state has contributed not enough money for a long period of time to the public employee pension situation? Bipartisan. Both sides of the aisle. By the way, why do you...? Senator Oroho, right before you..."