Chris Christie signs bill inspired by ‘Snooki’ to cap speaker fees

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation inspired by former “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi that limits how much state universities can pay speakers.

The Republican signed the legislation Monday. He says it is essentially symbolic since institutions largely use student activity fees.

Christie says the law brings attention to rising tuition costs and heavy student loan debt. It sets a $10,000 cap on the amount of state money that can be spent on speakers.

Republican Assemblyman John DiMaio said he was inspired to write the legislation after Snooki was paid $32,000 from student fees to speak at a 2011 Rutgers student event.

Musician and actor Steven Van Zandt is being paid $35,000 to speak at Rutgers’ commencement Sunday. Rutgers says the money comes from its beverage contract.

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