While Democrats look to stamp out Free Speech , Christie and Teachers Union agree to Historic Pension Reforms
Christie lays out $33.8B budget; wants to make public pensions more similar to those in private sector
FEBRUARY 24, 2015, 1:00 PM LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2015, 10:42 PM
BY MELISSA HAYES AND DUSTIN RACIOPPI
STATE HO– USE BUREAU |
Pitching what he said could become a “national model,” Governor Christie used his budget speech Tuesday to speak almost exclusively about pension reform, returning to the issue that won him national acclaim and one that sets up fights with unions and Democrats that control the Legislature.
The governor’s reforms – a sweeping package of pension freezes, new union-controlled benefit plans and health care changes — would need approval from lawmakers and from voters who would be asked to rewrite the state constitution. And it is unclear how long the changes would take to enact, how much taxpayers would save and what it would ultimately mean for the more than 400,000 active public workers — including teachers, police, firefighters, and state and local employees — earning pensions and benefits.
Christie delivered his budget address before the full Legislature.
“I am here today to ask you to do what may be politically difficult, but what is morally the right thing to do,” Christie said. “This is the type of leadership our state requires.”
Christie’s team began the morning with a 15-second social-media video publicizing the address and touting his plan as having the backing of the New Jersey Education Association, the powerful union that spent millions against him and opposed initial pension changes he signed into law in 2011. By Tuesday afternoon, the union’s leaders blasted the announcement of a partnership, calling it “embellished” and “overstated,” and saying enacting such reforms would be a lengthy and complex process.
Republican Leaders praise Christie’s pension ‘roadmap’
TRENTON — Two of Trenton’s top Republican leaders applauded Gov. Chris Christie’s commitment to fixing an ailing pension and benefit system moments after the executive delivered his latest budget address during a joint legislative session on the Assembly floor here today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Republican Leaders praise Christie budget address, pension ‘roadmap’ | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis
Christie focuses budget address on pension system
It was a rousing welcome but an unusual budget speech. (Aron/NJTV)
Stile: Teachers union unlikely partner in Christie’s pension overhaul
Governor Christie sold it as one of the biggest political coups of recent New Jersey history — a plan to dramatically restructure New Jersey’s public-employee pension system with a new and very improbable partner, the New Jersey Education Association. (Stile/The Bergen Record)