Tag Archive: millionaires’ tax

Thoughts on Two Assembly Marathons

What a difference a few days make. I covered two New Jersey State Assembly sessions, live tweeting from each for Blue Jersey from the back of the chamber.

The first, last Thursday, was the session where several Democrats Christiecrats joined the Republican voting bloc to strip state workers of collective bargaining rights and increase their health premiums. That session was punctuated by noisy crowds outside the State House, and the gallery was filled with well-behaved union supporters. By contrast, today’s session, where the members voted on the Democratic budget and the millionaires’ tax, played to a nearly empty gallery with voting along party lines. Sadly today’s session also took place in the absence of NJN television crews.

After sitting behind the GOP assemblymen (and yes, most of them are white men), zealously protecting my claim to an electrical outlet for my laptop, for twelve hours on Thursday and eight hours tonight, I got a feel for how this body works, or at least presents itself to the public.

BUDGET MESSAGE: Political Ideology Over Economic Needs

Tomorrow Governor Christie will present his budget message which will emphasize his ideology of cuts over our economy’s need for repair. By calling for further income tax decreases, he sets up a cycle of continuing low state revenue which justifies ongoing cuts and achieves the ultimate ideological goal of much smaller government. The early indications are his budget will be too harsh, endanger our recovery, slash holes in our safety net, and try to solve in the present what is a serious but manageable medium-term problem.

HARSH – In addition to his push for lower taxes, there is talk about a draconian approach toward civil service reform, public sector pension and benefit changes, Medicaid cuts, closing Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital and much more.

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