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Governor Christie: Cap 2.5 Town Hall Robbinsville
 
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Governor Christie holds a Town Hall Meeting on Cap 2.5, Real Property Tax Reform, with Robbinsville Mayor David Fried, West Windsor Councilman Charles Morgan and Robbinsville resident Betty Alfano in Robbinsville, N.J. on Thursday, June 5, 2010. (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: So my proposal is very straightforward. It is time to take the issue of property taxes out of the hands of the politicians and put it in your hands, and that's what Cap 2.5 does. Let me explain it really quickly. It would be a constitutional amendment on the ballot this November to say do you favor having a cap on your property taxes of an increase every year of no greater than 2 ½%? Now keep in mind over the last ten years we've averaged triple that. Only 2 ½%, and there would only be two exceptions to the cap: debt service, so that if your town has incurred debt to build projects, you got to be able to pay your debt. You don't want the town to default on its notes. The second exception would be you. If you decide that in a particular year your mayor comes up with a proposal, your school board comes up with a proposal to invest in your town and they say to you listen, it's going to mean increasing property taxes this year 3 ½% rather than 2 ½% they have to put it on the ballot and make the case to you, and then you decide.
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Governor Christie: Cap 2.5 Chesilhurst
 
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Mayor Michael Blunt talks about Governor Chris Christie's proposal to cap property tax increases to no more than 2.5 percent for the state of New Jersey in Chesilhurst, New Jersey. The Christie Reform Agenda takes immediate action to provide real property tax relief by putting power in the hands of the people. Since 2001, spending at the local level has spiked by 69% from $26.5 billion to an estimated $44.7 billion this year. New Jersey taxpayers bore the brunt of surge in government spending, with property taxes growing an astonishing 70% from 1999 to 2009. The average New Jersey household now pays $7,281 a year in property taxes - the highest rate in the nation. More information can be found at: http://bit.ly/ck9udw (transcript below) Mayor Michael Blunt, Chesilhurst, NJ: The Governor came in with his proposals. It was perfect for us because we've been doing that all along, and, you know, but Chesilhurst is a small bedroom community, and everybody knows everybody, and I love it. It's the best-kept secret in southern New Jersey and New Jersey and once you taste the water you'll never leave. I think that we have the things that people, you know, want and are here for: no crime, everybody—it's a family-oriented town. We just don't have a school because we consolidated. We don't have a fire department because we consolidated, and I think that saved money and to help the taxpayers with their taxes. We're proud of the Pinelands. We're 100% Pinelands. Our business climate is a little stagnant because we have those unfunded mandates of Pinelands restrictions. So the mandates that Chesilhurst are under are basically curtailing a lot of business opportunities and development opportunities. Well, not only residents in the borough of Chesilhurst are saying things about property taxes. Residents all over the state of New Jersey are talking about property taxes, and they always say the property taxes are too high, and I agree with them because I am a property tax payer and I'm disabled, 100% disabled, so I know the strains of property tax. That's why the 2.5 was like godsend to me, you know, and a mayor can do what he can do is also awesome. The residents don't want to pay taxes, but they want the services but they don't want to pay the taxes, and I think that the way that the Governor has set this thing up is, is brilliant. It's brilliant. I think it's going to help the mayors. It's going to take the weight off the mayors and they put the rate, put the onus on the taxpayer and the residents. This is what you want. This is what you vote for, and I think that's wonderful.
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Governor Christie: CAP 2.5 Hoboken
 
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Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer talks about Governor Chris Christie's proposal to cap property tax increases to no more than 2.5 percent for the state of New Jersey in Hoboken, N.J. The Christie Reform Agenda takes immediate action to provide real property tax relief by putting power in the hands of the people. Since 2001, spending at the local level has spiked by 69% from $26.5 billion to an estimated $44.7 billion this year. New Jersey taxpayers bore the brunt of surge in government spending, with property taxes growing an astonishing 70% from 1999 to 2009. The average New Jersey household now pays $7,281 a year in property taxes - the highest rate in the nation. More information can be found at: http://bit.ly/ck9udw (transcript below) Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Hoboken, NJ: Property taxes are too high. They're just too high. They're driving people—unfortunately they're driving people out of Hoboken and they're making it extremely difficult for seniors who are on a fixed income to remain in Hoboken and we want to make sure that people can stay in Hoboken, so it's extremely important not only for the residents but also for the business community that we reduce the taxes. Hoboken is a town of about 40,000 people, and actually I believe when we finish counting we may be up to 50,000 people, and it's got wonderful diversity. We've got an old Italian community, we've got a Hispanic community, African-American community. There, we'll call newcomers, young urban professionals, so we've got a wonderful mix of people here in Hoboken. It's important to note that nearly 80% of our city's budget, our operating budget is personnel costs, so I need help with reducing those personnel costs, and that's why it's important, again with the arbitration process, that we be able to have a way to really fairly negotiate with our labor unions and address those issues. The Cap 2.5—I think it's extremely important that that passes as a package, so not only do we need the Cap 2.5, but we also need the mayor's tool kit that the Governor is proposing and I think the most important elements on that are the arbitration process and the shared services, so at the very least the arbitration process needs to change. I was the first municipality to have Governor Christie come to Hoboken and give a wonderful talk with the residents of Hoboken, reaching out to legislators and letting them know my position on this and trying to encourage them to support these measures. I'm writing to residents and speaking out publicly on this. I think he's doing a great job, going, you know, going around to various municipalities and taking it directly to the people and letting them know how important this is.
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Governor Christie: Cap 2.5 Newark
 
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Newark Mayor Cory Booker joins Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno to talk about the proposal to cap property tax increases to no more than 2.5 percent for the state of New Jersey during a press conference in Newark, N.J. on Monday, June 21, 2010. The Christie Reform Agenda takes immediate action to provide real property tax relief by putting power in the hands of the people. Since 2001, spending at the local level has spiked by 69% from $26.5 billion to an estimated $44.7 billion this year. New Jersey taxpayers bore the brunt of surge in government spending, with property taxes growing an astonishing 70% from 1999 to 2009. The average New Jersey household now pays $7,281 a year in property taxes - the highest rate in the nation. More information can be found at: http://bit.ly/ck9udw (Transcript Below) Booker: "This is an issue that's bigger than any individual, party. It's issues that affect residents all over our state, in all twenty-one counties, and is particularly felt here in the city of Newark. We have escalating property taxes and the rising structural cost of government that are eroding the quality of life in our state, affecting the experience of every citizen in every part of New Jersey, and I believe that this reality is disproportionally burdening our seniors living on fixed income and more and more people in New Jersey who especially in this economy are struggling to make ends meet. The pressure has been too much. The escalating costs: health insurance, pension contributions, prescription drugs have been going up far faster than we've been able to raise taxes, and unless I have a way of reining in some of those costs, and especially within the collective bargaining process, if we just simply pass those increases on to our residents they would have had much higher tax increases than we gave them, and so what did that result in? It resulted in personnel costs eating away operational costs beyond personnel. So you have these weird realities when you're running a fire department with 97% of the fire costs are actually the personnel, not trucks, not gas, not energy, not water. The majority, 97%, of my fire costs are the cost of keeping fire personnel in our firehouses, and so what I love about this tax cap and what I love about giving the voters a chance to vote on it is number one it creates a much different dynamic in my negotiations with local unions. It creates downward pressure as well as tools to win better deals for the taxpayers... If in 2006 when we were having rising crime in our city, and we actually even did the polling, and if I went to the residents of the city of Newark saying 2.5% is to run government like we know it, but I want you to pay another 1% on your taxes so I can do x, y, and z for public safety, let me tell you, I saw the polling numbers. Newarkers would have voted that in overwhelmingly I'm confident, and to give us really what I see as a mandate to make specific investments. Now they don't even have a say over necessarily where their tax money is going and in my opinion is going to a lot of things that should not be if we had a better tool kit at the local level." Christie: "I am really gratified that Mayor Booker would reach across party lines with me to do this together, because this isn't about Republican or Democrat or independent. It's not about what city you live in, what section of the state. It is about making our state an economic engine again. It's about being fair to the people of every age, senior citizens who have raised their families in a home and want to stay there, young couples who want to buy their first home but can't because of the property taxes, and middle class folks who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut back, who want to stay in those homes until economic times get better. That's what it's all about. So it's not about any particular class, any particular party, or any particular region of the state. It's for everyone in New Jersey and that's why I'm so gratified that Mayor Booker is here today to support our plan. We intend to work with him not only on this but on a variety of other issues that are going to continue the recovery of Newark and make it the place that it was when I lived here..."
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Part 1 - Governor Christie: Cap 2.5 Newark
 
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Governor Chris Christie joined by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Newark Mayor Cory Booker make an announcement regarding the proposal to cap property tax increases to no more than 2.5 percent. (Transcript Below) (Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno's Remarks) Governor Christie: "Hey everybody, good morning. Thank you for being here. Miss Eva, thank you so much for letting us come and invade your space this morning, and I'm happy to be here to talk about Cap 2.5 this morning. It doesn't matter where you live in New Jersey, whether you live in one of our cities like here in Newark or in Paterson or Passaic or Atlantic City or Camden or Trenton, or whether you live in one of our suburbs like Mendham, where I come from, or Monmouth Beach where Kim is from, all across the state people understood that property taxes have been completely out of control and we need to rein in local government and rein in the property taxes on a permanent basis. We have seen Republicans and Democrats both come up with quick fixes for the property tax problem, one rebate program after another, Senior Freeze, property tax rebates especially for seniors, for the disabled, for regular folks. and what happens is Trenton pays those rebates for a while and then when budget times get tough they can't pay them, and property taxes continue to go up, 70% in the last ten years in New Jersey, and that's the tax that you have to pay regardless of how much money you have in the bank, regardless of whether you're working or not working, because if you don't pay it you lose your home, and it is a tax that's driving people from the state of New Jersey and we have to stop it, and we have to stop it permanently and we can no longer count on the politicians to fix the problem because both parties have failed us in that regard, so this is not a partisan issue, and I think this morning is another indication that this is not a partisan issue. Mayor Booker and I have worked together for a long time. We worked together when I was US Attorney and he ran for mayor the first time in 2002, and we worked at the US Attorney's Office to ensure that that was a fair election where everybody got to vote without threat of violence or coercion or any cheating, and his campaign worked with us as did Mayor James's campaign to try to ensure that would happen, and then in 2006 when he was elected mayor he came to see me right after his election and said that he needed help on the crime issue. He needed federal help right away, and we stood up and we partnered together, and I think you've seen some of the results of the small amount of effort that we helped to start on the federal level, but of the extraordinary effort that Mayor Booker has put in to try to make Newark a safer place again. And now we stand together on the issue of property taxes and we do because we both know that government needs to be put under control and that the people should decide about their property taxes, no longer the politicians. And that's why I want a constitutional amendment to cap property taxes at 2.5%, and that the only exceptions will be for the city to pay their debt service and for you all, if you want, to vote for higher property taxes, because you're the only ones who will be able to raise your property taxes any longer. No mayor, no council will be able to raise your property taxes above 2.5%. Only you'd be able to do it. Now I know that there are professional politicians in Trenton who don't like the idea of giving up that power. They want to have the power to raise your property taxes. They want to have the power to decide how your money is spent, and they've been a miserable failure for thirty years, and that's why we sit in the position we sit today, the highest property taxes in America. And so I am really gratified that Mayor Booker would reach across party lines with me to do this together, because this isn't about Republican or Democrat or independent. It's not about what city you live in, what section of the state. It is about making our state an economic engine again. It's about being fair to the people of every age, senior citizens who have raised their families in a home and want to stay there, young couples who want to buy their first home but can't because of the property taxes, and middle class folks who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut back, who want to stay in those homes until economic times get better. That's what it's all about. So it's not about any particular class, any particular party, or any particular region of the state. It's for everyone in New Jersey and that's why I'm so gratified that Mayor Booker is here today to support our plan. We intend to work with him not only on this but on a variety of other issues that are going to continue the recovery of Newark and make it the place that it was when I lived here, from the time I was born until I was five years old, and I'm going to continue to work with Mayor Booker..."
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Part 3 - Governor Christie: Cap 2.5 Newark
 
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Governor Chris Christie joined by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Newark Mayor Cory Booker make an announcement regarding the proposal to cap property tax increases to no more than 2.5 percent. June 21st, 2010. (Transcript Below) Mayor Booker: "This is a solid and essential beginning to a process and again I applaud the Governor. Before he was in that office, in our mutual conversations, and he and I are text messagers like crazy, putting any teenagers in a high school to shame, that he and I have been talking about beginning to get these costs in shape. In order to create a real effective framework for reform we must establish an unmistakably meaningful cap, and I believe with the Governor that it should be constitutional, and we must enact a tool kit of reforms that go deep in remedying municipal cost burdens, and even after we pass that two-part package we must go further to continue to address structural problems that persist in growing government costs and taxes in this state. There is no magic bullet. As the Governor and I both believe we must enact a tool kit reform now and in my view we must move on to undertake deeper reforms that get at the most-embedded causes of government increases, from ballooning health care costs to rising utility costs, another layer of unfunded mandates, intensive work on shared services and other creative inter-town strategies must be done. In other words these cap and tool kit reforms which I stand here to talk about today with the Governor are absolutely necessary and go a long way, but we cannot rest on our laurels because they are not the end of the story. They are necessary but not fully sufficient. We must build an ever-stronger bipartisan ongoing partnership to remedy what fiscally ails our community as a whole. I want to say again I am grateful that the Governor is here in Newark. He began his leadership as Governor in this city and he and I, if we are going to begin to transform this city, we need to have a bold unfettered partnership in doing it. We need to ignore the invisible lines that separate us and find our common ground. There are issues, and we were talking upstairs, we call it the small strokes, even within this reform package that he and I might not agree with, but if we allow our disagreements to define us we will lose the common ground that can advance us all forward, and that's why I'm standing here today. Thank you very much."
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Governor Christie: Pension Reform Bill Signing
 
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Governor Chris Christie signs his first bills into law as Governor. S2, S3 and S4 were signed into law at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Monday, March 22, 2010. Bill S2 makes various pension system changes, S3 requires contributions toward health care benefits by public employees and S4 makes changes concerning payments to public employees for unused sick leave and sick leave injury in State service. Sponsors and supporters of the bill included Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Senator Tom Kean, Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, Senator Barbara Buono, Senator Kevin J. O'Toole, Senator Michael J. Doherty, and Senator Paul Sarlo (Transcript Below). Governor Christie: Well this is a wonderful evening, and I want to first as you all may know already these are the first bills that I'll be signing as Governor and I'm thrilled that they're these. I'm going to first sign Senate Bill 2 and the prime sponsors of Senate Bill 2 are Senator Scutari and Senator O'Toole, Senator Bateman, and the Assembly Speaker Oliver and Assemblyman DeCroce. Next I'll sign Senate Bill 3. The prime sponsors are Senator Doherty and Senator Whelan and again on the Assembly side Speaker Oliver and Leader DeCroce. And next I'll sign Senate Bill 4 which is sponsored by Senator O'Toole and Senator Buono and again by Speaker Oliver and Leader DeCroce. And to all these folks here who worked extraordinarily hard to get this done. Today is a great day for the taxpayers of the state of New Jersey. We have spoken now for more than four years about the need for this type of beginning fundamental reform, and I remember watching as a citizen four years ago the extraordinary hard work of the Senate and Assembly during their special property tax session that they had four years ago, and watching as a citizen and someone who had for a few years observed the political scene and thinking to myself that this is an extraordinary bit of work that's being done by members of the Legislature, putting themselves out and doing the difficult work that would need to be done politically, and I remember just how disappointed I was as a citizen at the time that those bills were not enacted and not supported by my predecessor, and so after my election in November, one of the first meetings that I had was with the incoming Senate President, the incoming Speaker of the Assembly, and the Minority Leader of the Senate and the Assembly and said to them if you're willing to take this work back up again, which they all said they were, I wanted to give them my assurance that on the day they passed them I would sign them, so while the day was a little longer than maybe all of us expected in the beginning, Senate Bill 2 and 3 and 4 have made an enormous difference and if you look at the specifics of these bills these bills will save—Senate Bill 2 over the next fifteen years $3 billion, on Senate Bill 4 $5 billion over the next fifteen years and most immediately about $315 million for the upcoming fiscal year for local governments and school boards. That's $315 million in real savings that will help them with some of the budget cuts that we've had to make and recommend at the state level, and on Senate Bill 4 capping some of the abuses that have really outraged the public regarding sick leave and other issues that finally we'll begin to put a cap on those things that have so angered the public and made them think that the government was not really working to their benefit but working for someone else's.
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Governor Christie: We're Making Government Smaller
 
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Governor Christie in Spotswood, NJ. 12/21/2011 (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: I'll just give you one note. You know, I know politicians for years have run for governor in this state and other positions and said, you know, if you elect me we're going to make government smaller, and you're still waiting for that. Well, let me tell you that we've done it now in the last two years. In the last two years, just in the state government alone, New Jersey now has fewer state employees than it had on the day Christie Whitman left office in 2001. Now think about that. There's no easy way to do that, but I promised you I would, and I feel like I have to keep those promises. I made them; I need to keep them. And the decisions are difficult to make them, but you have to do it and we're now seeing the results from that. A smaller state government that's going to I guarantee you continue to get smaller. We've now passed Christie Whitman's low point; next is see if we can get employment down to where it was when Christie Whitman entered office seven years before that. And we're going to keep pushing to try to get to where we need to get to while still providing the services to you that you want, and in my first twenty-three months as governor when you take into account all levels of government, local, county, and state, no state has shed a greater percentage of their public sector jobs than New Jersey has in the country. That's because mayors and councilpeople and freeholders are getting smart about this with the 2% cap. They don't have the money to do it anymore. So they've got to make the hard choices.
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Flashback: NJ Sen. Sweeney Calls for Action on the Tool Kit
 
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New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney says that Governor Christie's Tool Kit has to happen. Calls for civil service reform and arbitration reform. July 3, 2010 (Transcript Below) Senate Pres. Sweeney: "We have more work to do. The toolkit has to happen, we have to find a way to put a toolkit together. Again, I'm sure it will be some sort of compromise but the core principles will be the same. We need civil service reform, we need arbitration reform, there's things we need to do. Now that we have put this cap on government, we have to give the government its tools so that they can live within this cap... Just because this is done, doesn't mean we're stopping the work. We need to continue to work NOW, to seize the momentum that the Governor said, continue to make improvements to New Jersey..." Follow Governor Christie on Twitter: @GovChristie nj.gov/governor/reformagenda/
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Governor Chris Christie: I'm Here to Represent Tana
 
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Governor Christie's FY2012 Budget maintains fiscal discipline while prioritizing and funding core priorities to assist New Jersey's seniors. Legislative Democrats may find it more convenient to distort the facts for election year political gain, but the numbers are clear -- Governor Christie has consistently provided resources to fund services supporting our seniors. (Transcript Below) "So we sat and talked about, I wanted to see, you know you pass these bills in Trenton and you want to see how it affects real people. Tana was telling me about her Homestead Benefit last year was just a shade under $200 plus the $50 credit so about $231. Her credit's going up this year $412.50, so nearly doubling for her. She was really happy to tell me that she got her Senior Freeze check this week which was just short of $3,000..." "Last, you should know that she's lived here her entire life. She was born here, she grew up in this house, and she has lived in this house her entire life." "I don't know how long because it is not appropriate to ask a lady her age, but it has been a number of years, and the policies that we're trying to pursue are its main goal for seniors is to try to allow for more seniors like Tana who are in the home they want to be in, in the community they want to be in and as we get better at controlling property taxes by providing the types of programs and also by controlling the cost of government through the cap and the pension and benefit reforms that the mayor supported..." "Tana talked about before about putting the money in the bank and saving it, and that's what I'm trying to do in New Jersey is to make sure that we don't spend every nickel that we have as soon as it comes in so we save this money so were not just looking to the taxpayers to just fill in the gaps. And that's the way she lives her life and I don't understand why me or Wilda should treat her money any differently when it gets deposited to us"
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Governor Christie Address Joint Legislature - Reducing Goverment
 
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Remarks of Governor Chris Christie to the Special session of the New Jersey Legislature Regarding the Budget for Fiscal Year 2010 - February 11, 2010. (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: We must, and we will, shrink our government. That means making some tough choices. It means tightening our belts. It means making do with the resources we have. And it means charting the course to reform now so that our spending will be more effective in the future. So today I am implementing over a billion dollars in reductions and reforms to programs that we simply cannot afford in the current economic environment and in our current fiscal state. For example, the state cannot continue to subsidize New Jersey transit to the extent it does. So I am cutting that subsidy. New Jersey transit will have to improve the efficiency of its operations, revisit its rich union contracts, end the patronage hiring that has typified its past, and may also have to consider service reductions or fare increases. But the system needs to be made more efficient and effective. The state cannot this year spend another $100 million contributing to a pension system that is desperately in need of reform. I am encouraged by the bi-partisan bills filed in the Senate this week to begin pension and benefit reform. I commend President Sweeney and Senator Kean for leading the way to begin this long overdue set of reforms. I am sure our Assembly colleagues will follow suit with the same kind of bi-partisan effort. These bills must just mark the beginning, not the end, of our conversation and actions on pension and benefit reform. Because make no mistake about it, pensions and benefits are the major driver of our spending increases at all levels of government-state, county, municipal and school board. Also, don't believe our citizens don't know it and demand, finally, from their government real action and meaningful reform. The special interests have already begun to scream their favorite word, which, coincidentally, is my nine year old son's favorite word when we are making him do something he knows is right but does not want to do-"unfair." Let's tell our citizens the truth-today-right now-about what failing to do strong reforms costs them. One state retiree, 49 years old, paid, over the course of his entire career, a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments over his life and nearly $500,000 for health care benefits -- a total of $3.8m on a $120,000 investment. Is that fair? A retired teacher paid $62,000 towards her pension and nothing, yes nothing, for full family medical, dental and vision coverage over her entire career. What will we pay her? $1.4 million in pension benefits and another $215,000 in health care benefit premiums over her lifetime. Is it "fair" for all of us and our children to have to pay for this excess? The total unfunded pension and medical benefit costs are $90 billion. We would have to pay $7 billion per year to make them current. We don't have that money-you know it and I know it. What has been done to our citizens by offering a pension system we cannot afford and health benefits that are 41% more expensive than the average fortune 500 company's costs is the truly unfair part of this equation. The only principled path in light of these mountainous challenges is this-take these reform bills, make them even stronger and put them on my desk before I return here on March sixteenth for my budget address.
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Asm. Bramnick Says Christie Is Smart to Drop Appeal
 
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Republican Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-21) says Gov. Chris Christie was smart to withdraw his appeal regarding same-sex marriage, which would have been a waste of time and money considering how the state Supreme court ruled. For more New Jersey news, visit NJ Today online at http://www.njtvonline.org/njtoday/.
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GovChristiePresser11 13 10
 
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Tool Kit Progress Press Conference. November 23rd, 2010. (Transcript Below) Well, good afternoon. 197 days ago I stood at this podium and laid 33 bills right here, and said to the Legislature that it was time to act to cap property taxes in New Jersey and then to pass the rest of the tool kit, which was going to be necessary to control property taxes without an enormous diminution of service to the residents of these municipalities, so 197 days ago. Now, starting on September 7th, when we started our series of town hall meetings, there were 105 days left for the Legislature to act. We stand here today with just 28 days left for the legislature to act. The mayors have spoken very eloquently about this across the state, that the spine of the tool kit is arbitration reform, civil service reform, unfunded mandate relief, and COAH. We reached a bipartisan agreement with the Senate on COAH months ago, and yet we've now watched the Assembly put forward a watered-down ineffectual bill that will never be posted in the Senate and will never be signed by a governor, not this one. Now let's flash back if you would to June and July of this past year. Speaker Oliver on June 28th said "this will be an extensive effort over the summer to properly analyze reforms and develop a real plan of action to bring relief to taxpayers. This is going to be a thorough review that brings smart reform to New Jersey, and a real plan." So we've now waited since June 28th for the Assembly plan on property tax reform. We got a press conference three weeks or so ago, where they laid out a plan which the Speaker couldn't even get out of her caucus. Now apparently today this extensive plan is a two-page press release with bullet points. All summer, all summer of extensive analysis to bring up a plan. This is the plan. What's the Assembly been doing? Well, Assembly committees have only held 20 hearings in the past five months. In total, the Assembly has spent 42 hours debating and discussing bills, both tool kit related and non-tool kit related. Of that 42 hours, 90 minutes has been devoted to tool kit bills. 90 minutes over 5 months have been related to tool-kit reforms. The Assembly places that level of value on finally controlling what everyone knows is the most important issue to the taxpayers of New Jersey, and that's property tax reform. 20 hearings in five months. 42 hours of debating anything over that period of time and only 90 minutes in talking about the tool kit. On July 3rd the Senate President stood behind this podium and said the tool kit has to happen. I agree. I agreed then. I've agreed every day since then, and I'll be agreeing for the next 28 days as well. There's been no progress on arbitration reform. Despite attempts to move a watered-down version that we talked about three weeks ago that ultimately failed, Senator Doherty's bill that includes a hard cap on awards has languished since it was introduced on September 30th, and received a discussion only hearing on October 14th. Five different proposals on civil service reform introduced back in June sponsored by Senators Kyrillos, Oroho, and Cardinale, and Assemblypeople Peterson, McHose, Bucco, Casagrande, and Chiusano. The deal with civil service have languished in both the Senate and the Assembly without any hearings. But when the Legislature wants to act it's clear they can. Now bullying is an important problem in New Jersey, and this anti-bullying bill that was passed is something that when it gets to my desk I'm going to study very closely and decide whether or not I can sign it or whether I need to improve it, but I consider it an extraordinarily important issue to the people of the state, and it will get my full analysis and consideration and that of my staff. But it is interesting to note that on this law legislation was introduced on November 8th, passed out of committees in both houses on the 15th, and passed by both full houses on the 22nd. In 14 days the Legislature could study this issue, propose legislation, pass legislation out of committee and have full hearings and then pass them in both full houses, in 14 days, yet we are 197 days, 197 days since we introduced the tool kit legislation that nearly every mayor in New Jersey has said is absolutely necessary regardless of party, and after 197 days of—I want to make sure I get this right—extensive effort to properly analyze reforms and develop a real plan of action, this is what we get. No legislation, no detail, a two-page press release and a press conference, I'm sure coincidentally, scheduled one hour before mine which we noticed last night. Maybe they needed 198 days to come up with something a little bit better than this, but this is all we have... (...)
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Governor Christie on Property Taxes: The Cap is Working
 
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Governor Christie talks about Property Tax Reform at his 19th Town Hall of the year in Toms River NJ. June 7, 2011 (Transcript Below). Governor Christie: First off, last year we passed a property tax cap of 2%, a hard cap on property taxes that went into effect the beginning of this year. What it said was if any town wanted to raise property taxes more than 2%, there's only one group of people who can approve it and that's you. People who live in that town will have to vote to raise their property taxes more than 2%. What happened this year? 566 towns in New Jersey, only fourteen out of 566 asked to raise their taxes higher that 2%. In those fourteen towns twelve of them said no. To tell you the truth it doesn't matter to me whether you vote yes or no at that point. I know here in Brick right down the road they voted yes. That's fine. That's their choice. My position has always been if the government can make the case to you the people that to provide certain services that you want that taxes have to go up more and you agree, that's OK. You make that decision. What's happened before has been the politicians have made that decision for you and just sent you the bill. Now you get to make the decision. All across New Jersey, think about it, in 566 towns only two of them are going to see property taxes that increase over 2%.
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Governor Christie: Developmental Disabilities Legislation
 
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Governor Chris Christie today signs landmark legislation with Senate President Stephen Sweeney creating a Central Registry of Offenders Against Individuals with Developmental Disabilities within the Department of Human Services (DHS) while at the Abilities Center in Westville, N.J. on Friday, April 30, 2010. New Jersey is among a growing number of states to use this type of registry in order to better protect individuals with development disabilities and relying on assistance from caregivers. Press Release can be found at: http://bit.ly/aVr0N3 (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: It is just commonsense that anyone who act out against anybody in our society, but most particularly those that are most vulnerable, does not deserve to work anymore around anyone with those vulnerabilities, with sensitive's, and candidly, this is one of those moments where I was at my old job too, because we have other stuff to do with folks who commit these acts and you can be sure that law enforcement in this administration will make sure that this will be least of their problems, worrying about this registry if they commit those acts against citizens of the state of New Jersey.
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Letter To Governor Christie: God Bless You, Now I Don't Have To Move Out Of New Jersey
 
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Higher Ed Bill Signing Remarks. August 22, 2012 (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: I absolutely believe that the cap is working. And it's not just a sense I have because I walk around the state and I talk to people, but I just got an email just two weeks ago from a woman in Hawthorne and I actually have it with me. I've been carrying this with me for a while now, Dave, I was hoping somebody was going to ask me about this. I got this email from her on August 7th, she said to me, 'Governor, just received my 2012-2013 property tax bill. It increased by $8.95. I don't think I can properly express my gratitude. God bless you. I had been considering moving to the Southern states for relief. Thanks so much. Now I don't have to. $8.95 increase in property taxes in Hawthorne this year. The cap's working. And in places where we find it's not working, I think the Senate President and I are committed to making sure that we plug the holes in that cap. But here's a woman who was ready to look to move out of state like so many people have because of how unaffordable our taxes are and she finally gets some good news when the property tax bill comes in August. You know to see your property taxes only go up nine dollars is not something that many of us have experienced in a long time in this state. Last year was the lowest rate of increase in property taxes in 20 years. 2.4 percent on a two percent cap. And the cap has not yet, as you know, been fully implemented because many of the savings on health benefits have not yet been fully implemented because it's a four year phase in on those savings. So I suspect we're going to continue to see really positive things happen on property taxes in the state. Listen we're not going to turn around a car that's been going at 120 miles an hour overnight. And so the first job is to slow it down and to get it to stop increasing so quickly and then we can look at ways, I think with the shared services idea that the Senator has of being able to turn it around and actually start to get property taxes to decrease if we do that in the right way. So I'm always encouraged to get this kind of contact from people out there who hear us doing these things down in Trenton but they wonder if they're going to have any real effect on their lives. Well for this woman in Hawthorne, she is now seeing the real effect it has in her life, essentially flat property taxes probably for the first time in her homeownership lifetime and we get to keep her in New Jersey. That's really important.
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Chris Christie blasts Obama administration on foreign policy
 
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New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie said Friday the Obama administration hasn't continued to push American views overseas and that's caused many of the conflicts, including the ongoing violence in Iraq.
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Governor Christie: This Should Be Easy
 
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Teaneck Sick Pay with Mayors, 12-08-2011 (Transcript Below) "230 mayors across New Jersey who have signed on to our proposal to end payouts for sick leave... The property tax crisis facing New Jerseyans is exactly why we put forward a comprehensive agenda to try to limit those and many of those steps have already been accomplished. Our two percent property tax cap, pension and benefit reform, 2 percent cap on interest arbitration awards and working now with members of the legislature on shared services reform, civil service reform and I hope this, sick leave reform. All of that has been done with bipartisan support. All of it's been done because these mayors, Republicans and Democrats understand that this issue's not a partisan issue, this issue is an issue of common sense.... This should be easy and the fact that we're still waiting to get this done to me makes no sense. So I really called on the legislature, let's get this done."
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Governor Christie: Doing More with Less - Ramsey
 
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RAMSEY TOWN HALL - March 24, 2010. (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: I came to Ramsey today because we believe Ramsey is an example of the way to effectively, efficiently, and professionally manage a municipality, and the mayor mentioned in his remarks some of the difficult things that they have already done here in order to make sure that they're doing the best they can for the people of Ramsey to provide them with the services that they need, but also to be responsible stewards of their tax dollars, and that's something that we have to do both sides of, not just worry about providing services but also to deal with the tax situation because, you know, in New Jersey we are already the most overtaxed citizens in America. We already have the second-highest income tax rate in America, the second highest sales tax in America, the sixth-highest corporate business tax in America, and the highest property taxes in America, so I just will not stand for the idea that we have a revenue problem in New Jersey. We don't. We have a spending and a debt problem in New Jersey.
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Gov. Chris Christie Issues Challenge
 
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Speaking from the American Enterprise Institute Wednesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) issues a challenge to the lawmakers of Washington. Distributed by Tubemogul.
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Christie Promotes Arbitration Cap at 118th Town Hall
 
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Gov. Christie held his 118th town hall in Fairfield where he promoted the extension of the 2 percent arbitration cap, which he says has eased the burden on taxpayers. For more New Jersey news, visit NJTV News online at njtvnews.org
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Governor Christie: Protecting Education Will Take Shared Sacrifice
 
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Somerville, N.J. on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: And so I'm sending a letter today to the president of the New Jersey Education Association and to the president of the New Jersey School Boards Association informing them that if all teachers across the state of New Jersey were willing to forego their raise for just this year and contribute 1 ½% towards their medical benefits—now for the average teacher who makes $50,000 a year, that's $750 a year, and foregoing one raise in one year would cover the entirety of the $820 million cut. No layoffs would be necessary. No cuts to services would be necessary. We would work with each district to help to make the numbers work, and it would allow everyone to feel as if there's shared sacrifice. For the superintendents they would not have to say goodbye to valued staff members. To the school boards, they would not have to face an angry electorate who doesn't want higher property taxes in New Jersey, and to the teachers they would be able to look in the eyes of the parents that are there and saying we're in this with you. We know these are unprecedented times and we're going to sacrifice too.
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Governor Christie: A Bipartisan Agreement on Arbitration Reform
 
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Governor Chris Christie Reaches Bipartisan Agreement on Critical Tool Kit Measures, Long-Overdue Arbitration Reform Transforms System. December 9, 2010. (Transcript Below) "Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for coming. I'm happy to announce that we have reached an agreement to transform the system of interest arbitration in New Jersey. This has been the product of an extraordinary amount of hard work and conversation not only the past number of weeks but also over the last number of months. Let me outline for you what the elements of our agreement are. First it is a 2% cap on arbitration awards and this covers all salary items, such as any across-the-board cost of living increases, any other types of raises, step-increment payments, longevity pay, everything that goes into the salary is covered under this cap. There are going to be no exceptions for any additional non-salary economic terms going forward. What this means is that this agreement is going to prevent any new non-salary economic items that aren't already in a contract and so this is going to hem in an arbitrator's ability to go in and be able to create new areas of compensation that have not existed before and use that as a way to boost up the overall compensation being paid to the folks seeking them so they're going to have to be in an existing contract if they're going to be awarded anything on that and as I said all the salary items are going to be subject to that 2% cap. Third, this is going to eliminate the accruing of labor costs during what has become an interminable process for arbitration. You have some arbitration processes that have been going on for two, three, four, five, six years. What we have agreed to today, the import of it is as you know these labor costs continue to escalate during the period of time of the arbitration pendancy. So steps continue to go up. Longevity pay continues to move, salaries continue to increase, all added costs to the townships. What will happen now is we have set up a system of a 45-day fast-track arbitration, establishes a concrete deadline of 45 days from the filing of the request for interest arbitration to the date of the award without any extensions. Both parties may request arbitration on the day the contract expires, and awards will be implemented on the same day within forty-five days of that date that it's been asked for. All of the appeals have to be decided within thirty days from that time and if arbitrators do not comply with the forty-five day deadline there will be substantial penalties on the arbitrators. This also caps arbitrator pay--- no more than $1000/day and no more than $7500/case, and so there no longer be an incentive for arbitrators to hold endless hearings and more and more meetings to be able to run up their tab. $1000/day, no more than $7500/case. We're also going to be increasing the ethical standards and training for interest arbitrators and also we're changing completely the selection of interest arbitrators. There is going to be a random selection of interest arbitrators so that you can no longer have favorite sons or daughters with their thumbs on the scale for one side or the other. There will be a random selection and the arbitrator has been trained extensively on both the ethical and the substantive areas will be able within a forty-five day period or less, call them as they see them, and implement the agreement. Finally the law will take effect on January 1st of this year and it will sunset on April 1st of 2014. The bill also sets up a task force to examine the impact of this reform and the effectiveness of the cap on reducing municipal spending. The task force will study the impact of the cap on taxes, on services, expenditures on public safety, on recruitment and retention of professionals. The Governor will appoint directly four members to this commission. Two members will be appointed directly by the Senate President and the Speaker. The task force will provide its recommendations to the Legislature and to the Governor no later than December 31st of 2013 so there are then three months for us to study those recommendations before the sunset of this cap on April 1 of 2014. Two other important things to emphasize. One is that we have made a commitment to each other that if we see anyone, if we miss something here, and we see folks who are gaming the system in a way that will make this cap ineffective, we have committed to each other that we will come back together and fix the problems. It's nothing that's written in the legislation. That is an agreement amongst the leadership of the Legislature and my office. Lastly, it's important to note here as well that this is the product of compromise..." (...)
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Scotch Plains Town Hall - Part 1
 
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Governor Chris Christie spoke about reforms at a town hall meeting at the Italian American Hall in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Thursday, October 21, 2010. (Transcript Below) Good morning, it is great to be in Scotch Plains great to be back in Union County. You know a lot of people don't know this, but my wife and I spent the first I guess let's see six years of our marriage living in Union County. We lived in Summit first, then we lived in West Field, then we lived in Cranford for six years, so a lot of time here. And so it feels good to be back and it feels really familiar to me and I want to thank all of you for taking the time out of your schedules to come here and to meet with me. Let me tell you a little bit about how these work. I will talk to you a little bit about what I think the issues are that are confronting us the most right now and then we're going to open it up to questions from all of you. We call that the fun part of our program and those are the ones that usually get the most attention. Because that is what's on your mind and I like to answer your questions, I like to have fun with it too. You'll see over to my left we have sixty one days left for the Legislature to act on the reform agenda that we laid out. Now usually everything we try to do from the governor's office is completely accurate and that sign is accurate technically except I have new information for you this morning it is sixty one days until December twentieth when the Legislature will go out of session for the holidays, but what I've recently found out is that the Legislature has decided they need a vacation. They're obviously working much too hard on what I don't know, but they're working too hard because the Legislature is now going to be off for the next two and a half weeks. Now imagine this we have property taxes which have gone up seventy percent in the last ten years and we have proposals for the Legislature right now that for the first time will really control property taxes. We have a two percent cap that is now the law will become the law January first, and we have before them real interest arbitration reform, real civil service reform, real mandate relief, and illumination of COWA. Right now in front of the Legislature that will help mayors, council people, freeholders control taxes while still delivering services. Work under that two percent cap while still delivering services, but they're taking two weeks off. We have in front of them right now a package of ethic reforms that really all they do is increase your ability to see what it is everybody in the Legislature makes, where they get their money from, who pays them, you know stuff that they said they wanted. No hearings on that. We have real pension and benefit reforms before the Legislature, we have a pension system that on its best moment is $46 billion under funded. We have a health benefit system for public sector workers that is $67 billion underfunded. These are bills that are coming do and just this week another study came out that said New Jersey's pension system could be broke by 2020, one of eleven states that could have a bankrupt pension system in ten years. So every police officer, every firefighter, ever school teacher, and every other public sector worker out there who wants to argue with me whether pension reform is needed, I said to them you don't reform this system with me you're not going to have a pension. And the leaders of the public sector union say oh that's just the governor, just the governor being hyperbolic, that's just the governor trying to scare us. Well now look at the independent work that is being done that says in ten years the system can be broke. What do they think is going to happen then? There isn't going to be any pensions there for them and their families. I don't want that, I said to a group of firefighters a few weeks ago the middle of September at their convention in Wildwood as some of them were booing me because I laid out pension and benefit reforms, I said to them I understand that your angry and I understand why you're upset because for twenty years governors have been coming to this convention and lying to you. So I understand your anger I just don't understand why you're booing the only guy who came in here and told you the truth. You know it's not popular for me to go to the firefighter's convention and tell them I want to reduce their pensions and make them pay more for their benefits. That's not the way to get a warm embrace. So why do you do it? You do it because it's the truth. I said to them, this is before this study came out I didn't know I was going to be a profit on this, I said to them ten years from now if we do this together you are going to be searching for my address on the internet to send me a thank you note because you are going to have a pension... (...)
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Governor Christie: "They are not Going to Silence Me"
 
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Governor Christie holds his 19th Town Hall meeting of 2011 in Toms River, New Jersey. June 7, 2011 (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: This is an organization that collects in compulsory dues $130M a year from their members—in mandatory dues. They don't spend one nickel on those teacher's salaries, they don't spend one nickel on those teacher's pensions, they don't spend one nickel on those teacher's health care. All that money is used to intimidate politicians and to pay their executive director $550,000 a year. Now when you see these ads think about this: In just the months of April and May they have spent $6M on TV ads. TV ads are supposed to move you to do something, right? When a TV advertisement for any type of product is on they move you to do something. They want you to go and buy that product. They want you to go and do something. They want you to go on vacation at Disneyworld. Any advertisement is supposed to move you to do something. I want to tell you I've watched these ads. You know what they're moving you to do -- they move you to hate. Those ads don't say anything about education, they don't say anything about making our children's lives better, all they want you to do is hate me. That's what they want and they figure if they can get you to hate me then we won't talk about education reform anymore. We won't talk about holding teachers accountable for results. We won't talk about holding principals accountable for results, we won't talk about merit pay and school choice and charter schools and all the things we need to do across the state to make our education system better. They want to silence those who want to change a system that is not serving our children but is only serving their powerful interests. So here's the deal I'll make with you: They are not going to silence me no matter how much money they spend.
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Governor Christie: Regional Public Safety Services
 
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Governor Christie, Senator Steve Sweeney, and County Freeholder Louis Cappelli hold a press conference after meeting with Camden County officials to discuss consolidation of Camden County Public Safety Services while at Camden County College in Blackwood. (Transcript Below). GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Good afternoon, thank you all for coming. We just concluded a meeting, the Senate President and myself, Freeholder Cappelli, the Attorney General and Commissioner Grifa, with a group of mayors, council people from Camden County, to talk about the idea of regional policing here in Camden County. This is pretty simple. I think you've all heard my views on this before. I think that this is a moment that we have to look for efficiencies in policing both in terms of the effectiveness of the policing and also the cost. No question as municipalities look to live within a 2% cap world, as we move towards pension and health benefit reform, we have to figure out other ways to save money and to rein in wages and benefits and bring in the costs of providing public safety into line while not sacrificing, making sure the public remains safe. Regionalizing this, the Attorney General made a really compelling argument this morning about how, really now, having transjurisdictional crime, it's not restricted just to any one place or particular county, and it moves over municipal borders that are really artificial in large measure. And we need to examine a better way to do this and so I wanted all those mayors in there to understand there were Republicans and Democrats in that room to understand that I am completely supportive of this concept and so is the administration. We stand ready to help them in any way that we possibly can to be able to achieve a model that works for Camden County, but most importantly works for Camden County's taxpayers. So that was the message that I delivered in there, I'll come back to answer questions in a second, I'll introduce next the Senate President, Senator Sweeney and I are of like mind on this issue, and we wanted them to see and all the officials this is not a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats all have to balance these budgets. We all have to be able to be able to account to the taxpayers. And I think it's a powerful message that the Senate President and I are together, supportive on this issue, I'll introduce him and he's going to be introducing Freeholder Cappelli, and then we'll come back for questions. Senator, SENATOR SWEENEY: Thanks Governor. The message that we gave is the taxpayers of this state need relief. They're at a breaking point. You know we have a bad economy and we have bad times but the Governor said this many times to me and I said it in there we need to seize the moment to fix our state. Taxpayers, the average tax bill is $7200. Think about that. $7200. Something has to change. What has to change is the way we deliver local government. We have to make it more cost-effective. We have to make it more cost-efficient, we have to make sure that it's reliable, and it can be done. New Jersey has a whole lot of government and the Governor and I talk about this all the time. We have more government than we can possibly imagine having or need. The time is now to start looking at things differently. 566 towns 21 counties, fire districts, school boards, can you share and save money? Yes. I've proven it in Gloucester County with my freeholders. We've saved millions and millions of tax dollars and improved the delivery of the government service. Improved it and made it cheaper. So people say it can't be done they're wrong it can be done. Again I'll leave you with a quote I said in there, I'm an ironworker. We had a saying if you can't do it you can't stay. Well if we can't fix this as elected officials we shouldn't be here. So the time is right to change the way we do business in the state of New Jersey, it is not a partisan issue, I think it's a very clear issue, the Governor is standing here in Camden County where they have two golf course towns that supported him. Right? His base, very few people. But look we keep talking about it, we keep talking about the high cost to taxpayers, we need to seize the moment to fix the state so that when the economy turns the taxpayers are going to be the benefactors of these changes. And with that I want to introduce the Freeholder Director who I give a lot of credit to for having the courage. It's not easy to step up and say we're going to do something different. Because as soon as you do it, as soon as you do it, you get everyone coming out just knock you down and say why it's wrong. What's right is doing the right thing to try to make the cost of government more efficient and make the citizens of this county safer, because your quality of life is good schools, safe communities. And crime's going up everywhere, not just in Camden City...
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Christie Declares State of Emergency in NJ
 
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Gov. Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency for New Jersey, ahead of Hurricane Sandy's expected arrival. (Oct. 27)
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Christie Gets Key Endorsement from Port Authority PBA
 
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Members of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association endorsed Gov. Chris Christie in his bid for reelection. The union previously endorsed Democrats Jon Corzine and Jim McGreevey. For more New Jersey news, visit NJ Today online at http://www.njtvonline.org/njtoday/.
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Governor Christie: Thank You for Not Being Sick
 
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Spotswood Town Hall. December 21, 2011 (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: We pay people for all of those sick days that they didn't use. We literally write them a check for that. I think we should kind of run this as a wedding, right? So like when the public sector worker retires, right, all of you should be invited down to municipal hall, and you should be told what your check needs to be for, right? Bring your check and then when the man or woman comes through the line, a little applause. Thank them for their service. Have the mayor standing next to you and introduce, well this is, introduce the person. This person lives on Elm Street here in town. Please present your check. And you present your check to the person. And the person can at least say thank you. Like at least you'd get a thank you. Right now you don't even get a thank you. You don't get a thank you for this.
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CWA Ad: Christie's Rules
 
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CWA television ads opposing Chris Christie's wreckless attempts to dismantle Civil Service in New Jersey, the system that protects workers and taxpayers from discrimination and political patronage.
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Entire Gov. Christie Elmwood Park NJ Town Hall Meeting  Sept.18,2012
 
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Entire Gov. Christie Town Hall Meeting Elmwood Park NJ Sept. 18,2012 Video by Donald MacLeay INDEX: 0:02:40 Chris on the NJ Legislature 0:14:50 NJ Millionaires 0:16:25 Ethics reform 0:17:30 Nick Sacco 0:19:00 Sick leave, "Boat Checks" 0:24:00 Property tax cap loopholes 0:26:30 Sharing Services Bill 0:32:00 Democratic partisanship 0:35:30 Q&A start 0:38:00 Question: School funding for Elmwood Park 0:42:00 NJ Supreme Court meddling in school spending 0:46:00 Question: Reforming Newark development priorities 0:52:00 Question: Elmwood school services being cut despite spending increase 0:55:00 Question: Boards of Education accountability 0:59:30 Question: Tort Reform ( Mark Newton lawsuits in Newark ) 1:03:00 Question: Why isn't Romney engaging Obama? 1:06:40 Question: Services, developmental centers 1:12:00 Question: Obamacare 1:18:00 Question: School Vouchers, Sheila Oliver is blocking the bill 1:20:00 Question: Out of control Board of Education
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Governor Christie: Less Hot Air, More Action on Civil Service & Sick Pay
 
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PVSC 02-07-2011 (Transcript Below) "Senator Sweeney stood at this podium and said we will get civil service reform done last fall. The water dam bill they sent me, even Senator Sweeney's beloved LUARC, said that that bill and the civil service system itself was the biggest impediment to shared services today. Yet the bill I conditionally vetoed did not allow towns to opt out of civil service, and so it will remain a major obstacle, and so no civil service reform. We sent back a CV on sick leave and vacation leave abuse that really has a very simple proposal. Sick leave is to be used when you're sick. If you're lucky enough not to be sick then you shouldn't be able to cash it out for hundreds of thousands of dollars. A second taxpayer-funded retirement for people who already have a first taxpayer-funded retirement through their pension which is the underpinning of your question. The fact is that they've done nothing on this issue. Nothing but hot air."
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Hurricane Sandy - Governor Chris Christie in Hoboken NJ
 
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Four helicopters circled over Hoboken, New Jersey and then landed at Pier A Park. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano surveyed the damage and related flooding created by Hurricane Sandy. Christie, along with Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer gave an afternoon news conference where Governor Christie said the people of NJ are a family. It is rare to see four helicopters land and take off at Pier A Park in Hoboken. Super Storm Sandy, Hudson County, New Jersey, flood, NJ
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Governor Christie: Part 1 - A Budget Conversation
 
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Part 1 of 4 parts - Governor Chris Christie holds a conversation with town officials and community leaders about the budget while in Haddon Heights, N.J on Tuesday, March 9, 2010. (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: This is going to be a budget that is going to be unlike any other you've probably seen in New Jersey in at least the last 20 years and maybe longer, and the reason for that is because we've been building to this budget for 20 years. We've been building to this budget for 20 years in a number of different ways and probably ways that you can relate to here in Haddon Heights in terms of what went on in your municipality. Expenses at the local level, the school board or the municipal level and the county level to some extent have continued over that period of years to rise. Now there's two ways of course to deal with that and New Jersey has, or three ways really—New Jersey has taken two of the three ways to deal with it. One, you've seen property taxes continue to rise over the period of time across New Jersey, in some greater amounts than others depending upon the years and to pay for these services, but that increase in property taxes alone was not enough to pay for what we were spending, so what the state's engaged in over the past 20 years is use of both state direct aid to K-to-12 school districts and state aid to municipalities and counties to paper over these problems, to make them a little more palatable for people, and so now you have a situation where in last year's budget fully a third of the state spending was done just on K-to-12 school aid. Those literally is us just collecting income taxes from all of you and turning around and writing checks back out to school districts, just really being a conduit, and a conduit that took that money in in one proportion and send it out in a completely different proportion. Now part of that is because of court rulings regarding Abbott school districts and the disproportionate funding that they've required from the state, but the fact of the matter is that's what we've done, and we've done it to paper over the problem of increasing costs in our school systems and increasing costs in our municipalities. That's been through things like COMTRA aid and other direct municipal aid that we've continued to shove out to municipalities. In doing it this way we've had to continue year after year to increase income taxes, sales taxes, and corporate business taxes, what in the budgeting world I've now learned they call the big three in Trenton, income tax, sales tax, and corporate business tax, which are the three main drivers of income to the state. We've just gone through the roof on those taxes. Think about this: when Governor Byrne instituted the income tax in 1977 the top income tax rate was 2.5%. When Governor Corzine was leaving office it was nearly 11%. We now have a sales tax that is 7%, among the highest in the country. We have a corporate business tax that's in the top ten in the country, and when you combine that with our property taxes and our other taxes we are now the champion—this is one you don't want to win the championship in but we have, of the most overtaxed people in America...
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Governor Christie on CNBC (Part 1): March 17, 2010
 
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Governor Christie on CNBCs Squawk Box Part 1 March 17, 2010 (transcript below) HOST: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, placing him squarely in the middle of the state's budget controversy. Opponents say that his suggested changes will harm the middle class; the Governor says tough fiscal measures are the only way forward. He is here with us right now to talk about his budget plan and the fiscal state of New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie. Governor, thank you for coming in today. GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Good morning, thanks for having me. HOST: Alright you dropped your budget yesterday and you said you were going to be making some waves and sure enough you are. I printed out stuff from across the state papers -- tuition hikes, service cuts likely at state colleges. Budget Cuts: $828 million in state aid. We're guinea pigs in Christie's trickle down experiment. Hundreds of teachers tell you that you're no Robin Hood. And Governor Chris Christie to the suburbs: drop dead. You are making waves with this budget. GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Yeah things are going well. HOST: We knew you were going to be pushing this but did you expect this much backlash? GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Sure, I mean if you're going to cut over $10 billion in state spending to special interests who have been used to feeding at the trough for government for years and years and years in New Jersey, of course they're going to get angry and they're going to push back but I wasn't elected by them. I was elected by people who were tired of having New Jersey being an economic laughing stock across the country and I'm going to change it. I'm going to change it over the next 4 years. And candidly, I don't care whether I get re-elected or not. I was sent here to change something and I'm going to change it. HOST: There are -- no argument that people don't want to see bloated government and waste but there's also the argument that in a situation this dire you're going to inevitably end up cutting some very valuable meat off the bone too, not just fat. GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Sure you are. I mean listen, you can't cut $10 billion and not cut some valuable programs but the fact is that we have the highest marginal tax rates in America, we have the second highest sales tax in America, we have the sixth highest corporate business tax rate in America, and we have the highest property taxes in America. So I think the revenue side, we've maxed out. It's time for us to start cutting back what we spend and that's what I was sent there to do. HOST: One of these articles says that under this proposal that property taxes could go up in some of the suburban areas. GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Not if they pass my proposition two and a half, which would be a constitutional cap on property tax increases of no more than two and a half percent per year. I've asked the legislature to pass it statutorily until it goes on the ballot in November. And then the voters will be in control of their property taxes again because if a town wants to go over a two and a half percent increase, they have to put it on the ballot and the voters get to vote yes or no. HOST: If I'm a household and I'm in financial distress, one option is to cut my spending and the other is to go get a part time job, right? You're argument is that we're already at 100 hours a week; we can't go out and raise more revenue. GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: No, we can't. Again, top highest marginal rate, second highest sales tax, you know -- highest property taxes, sixth highest corporate business tax. We cannot go any longer and create jobs. Think about this -- in 2009 New Jersey lost 121,000 private sector jobs. Just in 2009. We added 11,300 jobs at the municipal and school board level. We can't continue that way. That curve cannot continue to be inverted in that way. If we raise taxes, they're gonna be. HOST: You're -- I think you know exactly what you're doing. You may be -- people call you crazy, but it's crazy like a fox at this point. You're going to get a lot of criticism for this but you're also going to become, sort of a -- by the- there's a current movement in this country that is really looking for someone. Almost a hero to step in to -- as far as deficits go and as far as spending too much, and I think you're tapping into that. I think you know exactly what you're doing. GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Well what I'm doing is what I promised to do when I ran...
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Governor Christie: Part 2 - A Budget Conversation
 
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Part 2 of 4 parts - Governor Chris Christie holds a conversation with town officials and community leaders about the budget while in Haddon Heights, N.J on Tuesday, March 9, 2010. (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: So we're talking about a budget that is a third in deficit as we project forward. How does this happen? With the continuing decline in revenues and a continuing assumption of increase in spending, and so for instance there is certain spending that we have difficulty controlling, Medicaid for instance. Medicaid is projected next year to go 19% higher. Now why? Well, some of it's about us not controlling expenses as well as we should and we're going to do much better on that, but even if we do that when you have more people laid off, more people becoming unemployed and losing their health insurance, you have more people who are going to come onto Medicaid, and the expansion of the number of people on Medicaid is going to push growth, and so while there are some things we can do around the margins there, there really is not a whole lot you can do because you're going to be providing people with at least some measure of health care through the Medicaid program and the state pays for 50% of that and the federal government pays for 50% of that. What else is going on? Well, you know, we have a situation where last year aid to education, that K-to-12 education, a billion dollars of that aid that went out last year, somewhere close to $9 billion, was one time federal stimulus money, not coming back. I was with the President three weeks ago. One of the things he definitively said is that kind of aid is not coming back, so you immediately start with a $1 billion hole in your K-to-12 education budget in a time when the state has declining revenues. In addition, we spend about another 700 million of one-time money—you may have read about some of it. New Jersey Transit last year got $160 million in one-time stimulus funds. Well, what did that do? That helped Governor Corzine push off the inevitable, which was a fare increase. So in an election year he used $160 million of that money in one shot to push off a fare increase, so what do I confront this year? $300 million deficit in New Jersey Transit, $300 million deficit in New Jersey Transit. So, you know, I heard a member of the Assembly a week or two ago say this is outrageous that we're increasing fares on New Jersey Transit. I don't think there should be fare increases. I don't think there should be service cutbacks, and I want the state to keep the subsidy at the same level it was before, and I said to myself, man, I should have made this guy the treasurer, because that's a miracle if we can actually make that happen. I mean, there's lots of things I'd like to do too except I don't know where I'm finding the money to do it, and so there hasn't been a fare increase at New Jersey Transit for three years, since January 2007, and there needs to be a fare increase, not because I want to have a fare increase in New Jersey Transit, and not because I think hard working people who are trying to get to work and are taking our buses and trains should have to pay more, but because we've got a $300 million deficit to fill, and my view is the state will continue to subsidize a very large amount of NJ Transit's budget. Well over 45% of NJ Transit's budget will come from direct state subsidy, so do we need as we continue that subsidy to also ask the users of New Jersey Transit to pay more? You know, we were hit with a whammy at New Jersey Transit. 4% decline in ridership because of more people being unemployed, increase in the contracts to workers there, which we'll get back to, and at the same time you're having an increase in fuel costs and other things that drive the costs of New Jersey Transit to a $300 million deficit...
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Entire Gov. Christie West Milford Town Hall Meeting Oct. 16, 2012
 
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Entire Gov. Christie West Milford Town Hall Meeting Oct. 16, 2012 held at the PAL center. INDEX. Video by Donald MacLeay. 0:08:30 Chris on filing his tax returns 0:13:30 State spending increases 0:14:30 Pension and benefit reform 0:19:00 Property Tax Cap legislation 0:21:15 Sick Leave is for the sick, no Boat Checks 0:24:45 Shared services among the towns 0:30:00 Ethics reform, Nicholas Sacco 0:33:00 Finance Disclosure for the Executive and Legislative branches 0:36:30 Christie Tax Cut Plan 0:44:45 Beginning of Questions, the Four Rules 0:48:00 Question 1. West Milford excessive government spending. 0:52:00 Question 2. Pompton Lakes property buyouts. 0:53:15 Question 3. Sussex Republicans like big spending too. 0:56:15 Question 4. West Milford, Highlands Preservation Zone, compensation. 1:01:15 Question 5. Paramus has kept taxes level for three years. 1:02:50 Question 6. Small Business health care costs. 1:07:45 Question 7. Jersey City, Hoboken, Hudson County corruption. Patricia Waiters. 1:10:15 Question 8. Rockaway Business Administrator on Civil Service and Collective Bargaining reform. Also, Shared Service Agreements between towns. 1:15:00 Question 9. West Milford sudden tax increases. Low compensation for water rights. 1:24:30 Question 10. Mandatory Drug Treatment for first time offenders. NJ Mortgage retention program. 1:32:00 Question 11. Teacher Evaluation for a merit pay system. 1:37:00 Chris on looking to next year's election for Governor.
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Former NJ Governor Chris Christie speaking on the future of the Republican Party.
 
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Presented by The Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC), former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spoke and answered questions.
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Thousands Of NJ Police, Firefighters Protest
 
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Thousands of off-duty and retired police officers and firefighters gathered outside the New Jersey statehouse in Trenton on March 3rd to protest deep cuts in public services by Republican Governor Chris Christie. Organizers of the "Stand up for Safety" rally say budget cuts and layoffs have thinned the ranks of public safety workers to unsafe levels.
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Scotch Plains Town Meeting - Part 2
 
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Governor Chris Christie spoke about reforms at a town hall meeting at the Italian American Hall in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Thursday, October 21, 2010. (Transcript Below) Governor Christie: They have time for that. They have time for that, but they don't have time to reform an interest arbitration system that is bankrupting towns. They don't have time to eliminate a civil service system that is antiquated and is killing your property taxes. They don't have time to consider reforming a pension system that is going broke in ten years. They don't have time to deal with making the provision of health insurance for public sector workers more competitive. Instead they'd rather have you pay the bill, because right now for public sector workers 92% of the cost of their health insurance is paid by you. 92% of the cost of their health care is paid by the public. Federal workers, the federal government pays 66%. New Jersey is the outlier for how much of those health care costs we absorb for our public employees, but we don't have time to fix that. So 61 days. How are we going to get some of this stuff done in the next 61 days? The only way we're going to get it done is if you stand up and say you demand that it gets done. And so I'm doing these town hall meetings across the state because you're my army. I mean, there's 120 of them. There's just one of me. I need some help, and I think that you elected me last November to do this. I am not under any illusion that all of you elected me because of my charm and good looks. I don't think you elected me because you thought you needed somebody down in Trenton to run a finishing school. Wrong guy. You picked the wrong guy. I think you elected me because you knew Trenton was a mess and that government was out of control in New Jersey and that it costs too much and that it was too expensive to live here and that you wanted somebody who didn't care whether they were going to be loved or not in Trenton, but who cared about cleaning up the mess that was left, and so I'm doing that. We're making progress, but I need you to help me finish the job here because if we don't do these things in the next 61 days next year ladies and gentlemen is a legislative election year and redistricting. So none of the legislators are going to know exactly what district they're running in. You think they don't have time for me now? Wait until they're out there trying to save their own skin and keep their title. So 61 days is a real problem, and we've got to get this work done. And so I'm having these town hall meetings because I think we need to care about these issues. I know you do. Everybody I talked to last year when I was campaigning for governor talked to me about property taxes, everybody, and we now have a 2% cap on property taxes. But if we don't give the mayors and the councilpeople and the freeholders the tools to manage under that cap the only way to stay under that cap will be massive layoffs. Not just some layoffs, which probably are deserved, but massive layoffs to stay under the cap and it will affect their ability to provide services to all of you. That can be avoided if you fix the arbitration system that gives out of control awards to public sector employees, if you fix an antiquated civil service system that doesn't allow mayors, councilpeople, to retain and promote and reward the best people and get rid of the people who aren't doing their jobs or whose jobs are no longer necessary, we can fix those things. But we need to get to work. And none of these things are easy, OK? There are going to be public sector unions who are going to complain about every one of these things...
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Governor Christie's Message to the Heldrich Center
 
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Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, sends his videotaped greetings and appreciation to the Heldrich Center for 15 years of service to the state and nation.
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Governor Christie Discusses Fiscal Plan on CNBC's Squawk Box
 
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Governor Chris Christie discusses his plan to get the Garden State back into good fiscal health. (transcript below) Becky Quick: Joining us with his plan to get the garden state back to prosperity, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. This is his first national television interview since his election. Thanks for joining us. Governor Christie: I'm happy to be here. Quick: I know you have taken the state by storm. You have come through and gotten down to business very quickly. In fact, I guess you've issued 14 executive orders, an average of one every two days. There are plenty of voters who would say this has to be done, this is an emergency. Others are saying, wait a minute, this is too much too soon. Lay out your plan. Christie: The only saying too much too soon is the professional political class in Trenton who ran the state into the ground to begin with so I'm not worried about what their talking about. What I am worried about is getting our state back in fiscal health. We are in awful shape. We have a lot of work to do. You can't wait for permission. If you're governor, people have elected you to make decisions. I have no hesitation in making them. We're ready to go. Quick: You declared a state of fiscal emergency. What does that mean, exactly? Christie: Well, when you have a $2 billion budget deficit in fiscal year 2010, which ends on June 30th, which I had to act last week to close, and then a projected $11 billion budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 on a $29 billion budget, that fits my qualification of an emergency. Carl Quintanilla: When you were inaugurated, was there a moment where they opened the books for the first time and did your face turn white? How much has been a real eye-opener for you? Christie: All of it's been a real eye-opener for me. I knew how bad off the state was. But we didn't know about the $2 billion fiscal ten cap. Governor Corzine said he left with us a $500 million surplus. Surprise surprise. When they opened the books, in fact, they spent so much money at the end as Governor Corzine was leaving, you know, he spent $200 million in extraordinary municipal aid that went out to some of our major cities that they wired out the morning I was being sworn in. So they could get it out the door before I took the oath of office. A lot of those shenanigans went on. Quick: You're not cutting municipal aid, right? In the list of things that your cutting municipal aid is not on that? Christie: Not in the fiscal '10 budget. But the money went out the door. You can't claw back and go and get that money from the municipalities. So what I to do was go back and look at what unspent balances did we have and what could I freeze? So what I did in fiscal '10 shouldn't be characterized as a cut, it's a freeze. Its freezing programs where they are now, stopping spending in fiscal '10. What I'm doing for fiscal 11 will be actual programmatic cuts. Quintanilla: That's going to hurt. Christie: Absolutely. That's why they call them hard choices. All the easy choices have been made already. So when I hear people complaining, and being concerned about it I empathize with that. I sat and made 375 freeze decisions in the first two weeks of office. And I know there's real people behind those. I don't like doing it, but that's what I got elected to do. When you have those deficits, and we're already the highest taxed state in America, you know this doing business in New Jersey, it is not a positive business tax or regulatory situation. We need to improve that. The only way to do it is lower spending so we can lower taxes and create new jobs in a state that now has higher unemployment than the national average. Melissa lee: Manage the expectations of New Jersey residents. How difficult will things be getting? There are reports in terms of the municipal bond downgrades, New Jersey has the fastest pace of downgrade out there, debt obligations are below investment grade. How do you keep up basic services when you're trying to stopgap that budget and keep the state going? Christie: Well here's what we do we know that we've taxed too much, we've spent too much and borrowed too much. The only way to fix that is to stop spending so much. That's the only way to do it. Quick: Other people would say raise taxes too, bring in higher revenue and cut spending. Are you going to have to do both? Christie: No, we're not raising taxes. That's it. Our income tax when it was established in 1977 at 2.5% top rate. Under Governor Corzine, 11% top rate on income tax...
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Governor Chris Christie Endorses Charlie Dent for Congress
 
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Governor Chris Christie endorsed Charlie Dent for Congress on Wednesday, October 20th. This was a great moment for our campaign. Governor Christie has been impressing people from all parties with his honesty and his willingness to cut spending.
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Governor Christie's Town Hall - Fair Lawn
 
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Gov. Chris Christie hosts a town hall in Fair Lawn and addresses the Assembly vote today on pension and health benefits reform.
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May 30, 2018: NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams
 
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The weather kept the governor away from the firefighters' convention, but the rank and file were ready to give him an earful on salary arbitration caps. A transgender rights bill twice vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie now sits on Gov. Phil Murphy desk. So, will he sign it? Outside Sens. Booker and Menendez' state offices in Newark there where peace activists demonstrating against the Israeli policy toward Gaza. And, a showdown over shutting down an infamous nightclub. Call it Karma. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE for daily videos: http://bit.ly/1ERsYqw **More info & videos below** For full episodes, check out http://www.njtvnews.org/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/njtvonline/ Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/njtvnews/ ----------------- While NJTV does not and cannot review every submission and is not responsible for the content of your comments, NJTV reserves the right to delete, remove, move, or edit comments that it, in its sole discretion, deems abusive, defamatory, obscene, or otherwise illegal or unacceptable for any reason.  ----------------- NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams is a week-nightly news program on NJTV covering local New Jersey news as well as a multi-platform, local information source for New Jersey. Be sure to share with us your story ideas, feedback and tips about news in your neighborhood here: http://bit.ly/1GnSEtn NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams airs every weeknight at 6, 7:30 and 11 p.m. ET on NJTV.
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Different
 
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We thought he was different, but Chris Christie took thousands from Wall Street executives, insurance and drug company executives. And what did he do as soon as he was governor? Give a tax cut to millionaires, while cutting schools, women's health care, and our public safety. Learn more at http://millionairesforchristie.com
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LIVE: Governor-elect Murphy to announce cabinet nominations
 
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Governor-elect Phil Murphy announced his nominations for Commissioner of Human Services and Commissioner of Children and Families. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE for daily videos: http://bit.ly/1ERsYqw **More info & videos below** For full episodes, check out http://www.njtvnews.org/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/njtvonline/ Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/njtvnews/ ----------------- NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams is a week-nightly news program on NJTV covering local New Jersey news as well as a multi-platform, local information source for New Jersey. Be sure to share with us your story ideas, feedback and tips about news in your neighborhood here: http://bit.ly/1GnSEtn NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams airs every weeknight at 6, 7:30 and 11 p.m. ET on NJTV.
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