Tag Archive: budget

My Bro, Phil

Welcoming back Blue Jersey alum Brian, anytime he shows up. Promoted by Rosi. My first year in college was quite the, I guess, on-the-spot civics lesson. Due to several events that happened that year (2011), I became a rare millennial…
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Christie faces a rocky return to NJ

Our editor Rosi Efthim said about Gov. Christie, “Despite his protestations to the contrary, he has no moral and ethical core. It makes shifts in positioning look facile.” Nonetheless, soon he will return to NJ, at least for while. A Monmouth poll found his job rating stands at 36% approve to 58% disapprove. Even Republican office holders are distancing themselves from Christie including Assemblyman Sam Fiocci (R-1), and Cumberland County Freeholder Jim Sauro who said, “Don’t start blaming us for his issues.” So Christie will come back to face a host of unresolved matters and ill-will from many quarters with baggage that contradicts what he previously said, exposes his lack of an ethical core, makes it hard for him to explain his flip-flops, and difficult to govern.

Below is a sampling on such subjects as Planned Parenthood, marijuana, immigration, common core, teacher pensions, guns, taxes & budget:

  • Planned Parenthood – Each time he vetoed their funding he said the reason was that “costs were duplicative and the State could not afford it.” A few months ago he said “I’m pro-life, – the first governor to ever speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of the Statehouse,” and boasted that he “vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times” to much applause. In South Carolina he vowed to defund Planned Parenthood nationally if elected.

  • Common Core – Flip-flopping his way, he once was a vocal proponent of the standards but on the campaign trail has said Common Core is simply not working.” He is now hiding behind an appointed study commission.

  • Teachers’ pension – While in 2009 he claimed he would protect their pension, he has failed to contribute the agreed upon amounts. In New Hampshire he asserted the nation’s teachers unions need a “punch in the face.”

  • Guns – Moving to the right from his 2009 position, he recently affirmed his opposition of new gun control laws in an interview on CNBC. A bipartisan bill (A4218), languishing on his desk, would give NJ courts and police greater authority to enforce current state gun laws, but so far Christie has refused to say whether he will sign or veto it. In Iowa he ripped into a gun rights activist.

  • QoTD: Christie vetoes

    Hetty Rosenstein, CWA-NJQuote of the Day from CWA’s Hetty Rosenstein, who with other NJ labor leaders stood with Democratic leaders yesterday as they prepared to send a budget to Gov. Christie that raised taxes on New Jersey’s wealthiest and its corporations. Now, the governor has struck down key provisions of that budget, excising $1.6 billion from it, and keeping his promise to wealthy Republican presidential donors outside Jersey that he’ll be a 2016 candidate that hews to their worldview of a shrunken government of low expectations. The Democratic budget doubled funding to pay into the state pension system – no official word yet on Christie’s disposition there, but you already know that story. The Dems also included an increase in the earned income tax credit from 20% of the federal level to 25%; Christie says he wants to see that at 30%.

    “No one should be surprised today. Whenever given a choice, Chris Christie stands squarely with millionaires and corporations over working people every single time.

                                         – Hetty Rosenstein, CWA

    Democratic Budget Plan

    Update 3:00pm: The Star-Ledger reports, Democrats are proposing a $35.3 billion budget with $3.1 billion set aside for pensions, in contrast to Christie’s $33.8 billion spending plan which included $1.3 billion for pensions. New proposed revenue sources include a tax hike on income over $1 million and a 15 percent corporation business tax surcharge.

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    In a press release this morning Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) announced that the Democratic budget will make a FY2016 pension repayment of $300 million as an FY2015 supplemental appropriation based on stronger-than-expected June tax collections.

    The $300 million prepayment, funded out of FY15 revenue, is in addition to the $212 million that Governor Christie committed to add to the FY15 pension payment based on this year’s positive “April surprise” surge in income tax revenues.

    “Making the payment upfront, rather than next June, will generate more than $21 million in additional investment income over the course of the fiscal year, based on State Investment Council projections,” Senate President Sweeney said. “It is important that we get every dollar we can into the pension system because every $1 we put in now saves us $3 in the future.”

    “Democrats are committed to fiscal responsibility,” said Speaker Prieto. “Underfunding the pension payment has put the state deeper in debt, lowered the state’s credit rating and hurt the economy. The state should balance its budget and fully fund its pension obligation, and this prepayment is part of our efforts to fix these problems and move the state’s economy in the right direction.”

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    Blue Jersey will have more commentary on the budget which must be finalized by June 30. As of this moment Governor Christie has issued no response to the Democratic plan.