MTV’s Jersey Shore was a cultural phenomenon in the late 2000’s, and its cast members made millions over the course of the show’s run in endorsement deals, TV appearances, and speaking fees. Even though the show has been over for nearly five years, one New Jersey lawmaker wants to ensure future reality stars won’t be able to make the same kind of money at taxpayer’s expense.
On Monday, New Jersey Assemblyman John DiMaio (R) sponsored a bill that bans state colleges from using more than $10,000 of state funds on speakers and commencement speakers, reported the blog Save Jersey.
His inspiration for the bill came when Rutgers University students spent $32,000 in activity fees to have Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi speak at their school in 2011.
“At a time when tuitions are being increased because state funding is being reduced, colleges should not be using taxpayer money to pay exorbitant speaker fees,” “said DiMaio in a statement. “This is an added expense that taxpayers and students simply cannot afford. Rutgers used hard earned taxpayer money to pay Snooki $32,000 to tell graduates to ‘Study hard, but party harder.’ That’s ludicrous and wasteful. Taxpayers and students deserve better.”
“I oppose using any taxpayer funds to pay speaker fees,” he continued. “If colleges want to pay speakers they should raise the money from private sources. However, I agreed to the amendment because checks and balances are necessary. I’d rather have the $10,000 cap than no cap at all.”
His bill advanced in committee and was passed 6-0, it will be voted on by the entire General Assembly later on this year.