New Jersey Gov. Christie’s Budget Proposal has No Tax Increases, Smaller Pension Payment Than Obligated
TRENTON—Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday proposed the state’s most expensive budget ever, using an unusually restrained tone to pitch a $34 billion spending plan that includes a record pension system payment and holds the line against raising taxes.
Facing a scandal over his administration’s role in creating a traffic jam near the George Washington Bridge, the potential 2016 GOP presidential contender avoided fights with Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature and have been emboldened by the scandal. He didn’t push a tax cut and proposed a $2.25 billion payment to the public-employee retirement system that was in keeping with a state law passed to shore up the system.
Mr. Christie returned to a source of strength, broadly calling on public workers to make new sacrifices in their state benefits as he first did in 2010—though this time he didn’t offer specifics. And his speech was devoid of the brash rhetoric common to many of his past addresses. Instead, Mr. Christie outlined stark choices ahead for the state to stay fiscally sound.
“If we want a better future tomorrow, we must prepare today,” Mr. Christie said during his 30-minute speech before the full state Legislature and guests here. “We must make good choices now, and we must make certain sacrifices.” (Haddon and Dawsey/Wall Street Journal)