Governor Christie’s bannered “Jersey Comeback” moved toward “Christie’s Blowback” as our economy this year continued to be stuck in the mud, but recently we have seen signs of another shift toward “Legislative Pushback.”
This “Pushback” might be traced to the beginning of this year’s new legislative session when the Assembly and Senate prioritized and passed a Marriage Equality bill against Christie’s wishes. Members were deliberately ignoring much of Christie’s questionable education agenda. Then in an almost unprecedented step, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Christie’s nominee for the Supreme Court. When Christie blundered with an inequitable across-the-board tax cut proposal, each branch of the legislature countered with its own more sensible property tax relief bill, which pushed Christie into negotiations until Christie’s own blowback forced review and retrenchment of these plans. Similarly Christie’s RutRow scheme, maligned by many, has faced skepticism in the halls of the legislature. Finally, who would have guessed that against the seemingly all-powerful Chris Christie the Assembly with 18 bipartisan sponsors would entertain a marijuana decriminalization bill.
This pushback is still fragile and slow, but it seems to be gaining legs. Rather than only having an Emperor parade through New Jersey with hubris but no clothes, we are beginning to see a legislature with more common sense, purpose and determination.