As Christie Proposes Budget, Echoes Of Wisconsin-Style Discontent
TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – New Jersey’s governor is set to unveil a spending plan today that’s expected to include business tax cuts, higher health insurance costs for government workers and some property tax relief. But could Chris Christie’s proposal spur the kind of protests that have been roiling Wisconsin’s state capitol?
The AFL-CIO and Communication Workers of America are among those calling on the rank-and-file to march at the statehouse in Trenton on Friday.
Republican State Senator Diane Allen doesn’t expect the governor to put restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees’ unions; that’s what’s had tens of thousands shouting in Madison.
But she said her constituents know something needs to be done to shrink taxes — and the size of government, “I hear from folks saying we love our state workers, but we can’t afford the salaries they’re getting anymore.”
Though Christie and the unions have an acrimonious history, Democrat Lou Greenwald, the assembly budget chairman, said there are concessions to be made on both sides, “Are there benefits too enriched right now? Yes. But if you talk to the union leadership, they know that, and they’re willing to have that conversation.”
Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060