Governor Chris Christie will highlight the progress that New Jersey has made in the 2220 days since he was sworn in as governor and challenge the legislature to put aside partisanship and continue to work to solve the State’s problems for the next 630 days until the next gubernatorial election in his 2017 Budget Address this afternoon, according to excerpts released by his office.
The State’s ongoing recovery from Superstorm Sandy was not mentioned in the excerpts.
Christie will hail an improvement in the State’s unemployment rate from nearly 10% to 5.1%. He will boast of closing a $11 billion deficit and having a $800 million surplus in his new budget. Property taxes were climbing at a rate of 7% per year when he took office and are rising at less that 2% today. 230,000 new private sector jobs in six years compared to net zero private sector job growth in the previous eight years. The merger of Rutgers and UMDNJ and over $1.3 billion invested in our State colleges and universities. Over $24 billion in infrastructure investments.
“Criminal justice reform which made bail available to those who deserve it and keeps the truly violent off our streets. Crime rates down. Prison population down and a state prison closed. Drug courts in every county and a new emphasis on treating this disease and saving lives. More of our developmentally disabled in group homes and fewer in institutions. More of our poor receiving good health care and charity care in our hospitals dramatically reduced.
“A dramatic expansion of solar energy and the meeting of our 2020 clean air goals, all without taxing our citizens through the discredited Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. More money is being spent on K12 education than any time in history and more families being saved by charter schools in our cities than ever before. And all of this has been done with no new state tax increases in six years, no radical expansion of government regulation and 10,000 fewer state employees.
“We did all of this together in the last 2,220 days. Regardless of our party differences. Regardless of the relentless selfishness of the special interests. Regardless of the constant negativity of the media. Are we willing to do this again over the last 630 days or will we succumb to politics, selfishness and negativity?
Christie will challenge the legislature to “stop the partisanship and reckless amending of our constitution to score political points.”
“I am standing here to tell you I am willing to continue to fix the remaining problems. Let’s take the next steps to insure our future. Lower taxes to stop people leaving New Jersey. Build infrastructure in a way that is fair to our taxpayers. Fix our pension and health benefit system in a way that will not divide and burden our taxpayers, but will bring closer together the real world and the excesses of the government world. I am ready to work with you if you are willing to stop the partisanship and the reckless amending of our constitution just to score political points. We can sit and reason together for the next 630 days or we can fight for the next 630 days and leave our citizens without hope.
“I want to face the future with faith and hope in the people we elected and appointed to make life better. All the problems created by people can be solved by people – and we’re the ones who have to make it happen.
“Over the years I’ve also been honored to work with all of you to make good things happen in New Jersey. We might not always agree on everything, but we’ve always been able to have the hard conversations we need to move our State forward. Let’s do that now, and continue to invest in making New Jersey the greatest State possible for all our people.”
Christie is scheduled to deliver his address at 2 p.m. Watch it here via NJTV.