By Darryl R. Isherwood | November 15th, 2012 - 2:23pm
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A bill that would create a tax force to study state-owned automobile usage by public employees with an eye toward redcucing the state's vehicle fleet moved out of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs committee today.

The bill (s-2269) would form a seven-member task force to study the cost of the state fleet.  The task force would be made up of the state Treasurer, heads of the departments with the most vehicle usage as well as members appointed by the Senate president, Assembly speaker and the governor.

Among the options to be studied by the commission, according to sponsor Sen. Jeff Van Drew would be a leasing program that is in use in other states.  The commission also will study the criteria for use of a state vehicle and how many employees take them home.

Some departments, including the State Police, the Division of Gaming Enforcement,  the Department of Law and Public Safety, and independent authorities, commissions, boards, agencies, instrumentalities, and state colleges as well a  equipment used for construction, maintenance, or emergency services purposes are exempt from the study.

Van Drew said he plans to meet with members of organized labor to address concerns about vehicle use.  

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