Governor Christie Lambastes Legislature for Holding Up “Toolkit”

By Michael Aron
At a wide-ranging press availability this morning in his outer office, Governor Christie accused the Democratic majorities in the Legislature of “obstructionism” on his toolkit bills. He said a hard cap on property tax growth of 2% is coming on January 1, 2011, and if local costs aren’t put under control, the resulting layoffs of police, firefighters, teachers, and public works employees, will be laid at the doorstep of the Democrats. Christie said he’d invited Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver in several times to talk about this, but she never showed up after having said she would. He reminded Senate President Steve Sweeney that in July Sweeney promised passage of the toolkit by September. Sweeney is now promising floor votes by November 22nd. On other topics, the governor reiterated his opposition to the ARC tunnel project unless some other entity besides New Jersey agrees to pick up the cost overruns. He defended his Administration’s restrictive rules on medical marijuana. He sided against Cablevision in its battle with News Corp. And he called speculation about his running for President “a monumental waste of time.”

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One Response to Governor Christie Lambastes Legislature for Holding Up “Toolkit”

  1. CPM says:

    1. The governor compelled legislators to come to Trenton on the Fourth of July weekend. A law setting a 2% cap was the result but now he states that to meet this cap, tool kit initiatives must be implemented. Isn’t it obvious to everyone that this was backwards- definitely putting the cart before the horse?
    2. Several of the tool kit suggestions would reduce pension and medical benefits for government workers (some of whom have worked the better part of their lives for the agreed upon benefits which are now being targeted), however pension and health care costs are two of the fourteen exceptions to that 2% cap. The cap can be exceeded to meet existing health care and pension obligations. See the Governor’s press release
    3. Local government agencies have been compelled to meet the employer financial obligations for the pension system but the state has not made contributions for its own employees. Why the double standard?

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