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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

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  • John Q


    I think that part time political wonks should have their pay and benefits tied to the average pay and benefits of the private sector too. If the average middle class income in NJ is 50K, then that’s what the legislators should make. If the average small business owner makes 200K, then the governor should make the same mount. I hearty agree they pols make entirely too much as well. The down side is they make more money on their “Non-reported” incomes. The pretense is the are stipend for speeches that lobbies drub up for them that pay 10’s of thousands of dollars. The pols pander to the votes. People who are the recipients of the money, public sector unionized employees, lobbyists, and the welfare crowd all pile into the voting booth, often multiple times and elect their patron, again reference Philly and the dead voting or Chicago. Obama benefited from the dead vote.

    If the Fatman doesn’t do the job forget about being reelected, let along president. Our political class are cowards, who haven’t the guts or backbone to do the right thing. As for Corzine, he may not have been the worst gov we’ve had, but he did suck. At $1 per year, he may have been over paid.

    An old adage, less government is better government. I wish the senate in NJ would flee to PA like in Wisconsin. If they did, they could vote to steal more money from me.

  • Mildred Kish

    Why doesn’t he put their money for pensions into the pension fund. Could this be stealing?

  • Guess Who

    There are gym teachers in my old NJ Hs who make well over $100,000 a year. It’s time to chop down these outlandish salaries.

    • Caller Out

      Guess who.. that is clearly false, teachers make nothing close to the sort and I would love that information your citing. My Parents are both teachers and specifically one a physical education teacher… as you put it gym teacher.. regardless hes at the tail end of his career making 68k a year. That 100k bit is way off base regardless what county that gym teacher is.

      • Invisigoth

        @JohnQ – why aren’t you complaining about the amount of money that you, the taxpayer, are paying to the pensions and healthcare funds of the politicians? They are millionaires many times over but I don’t see them giving up or paying into their taxpayer funded pensions or taxpayer funded healthcare. I don’t see you asking them to give back 5% or 10% or forgo their automatic annual increases. Let the politicians put their money where their big fat mouths are. Let them give back. Corzine may not have been the best governor the state had, but at least he only worked for a $1 a year – I don’t see that fat creep Christie doing the same thing. All I see him doing is giving back to the rich and corporations under the guise of “job creation” Really? Job creation? Overseas maybe but not here at home.

      • John Q.

        Nice try. A neighbor, teacher retied after last year. The pension is $85K for a fifty something. All benefits are paid for life by the state, which should be read ME. I won’t be able to retire until my 70’s if lucky. I’m white color and have put 15% into retirement my whole career. So when you say way out of line, take 85K and add benefits and you are way over $100K.

        Teachers and other unionized state workers have had Trenton in their pockets for a half century. If a school board budget election were to be defeated, the schools’ board could simply appeal to to the township and have it overturned. If the township didn’t go their way, the district went to the state and they overturned publicly held election and forcibly paid the new bloated union contract and raised taxes. So pleas stop crying poor, it rings hollow. Your profession works 180 days a year, Also, your working hours are normally 8-3 with lunch and “Prep” times. So you basically work half time.If you stand in a hall during class changes, you get a “Stipend”. As the public, we really have no say in our taxes. If we object guys with guns and badges (more pensioned public employees) visit us and threaten our liberty if we don’t agree to pay the extortion that affords your salary, pension, and benefits. Anybody read where Philly schools graduate less than 60% of enrollments and last years graduates, what a joke, can’t read or write. Well that’s something to spend more money on. Maybe we can have a one to one ration of students to teachers because after all, its for the children and small class sizes are the key.

        As tax payers, were tired of paying our employees wages and benefits that almost nobody in the private sections gets. Get a job in the private sector and see how it feels. Oh yea, tenure, private sector jobs have tenure that lasts paycheck to paycheck. Try that one on for size.

        And the comment of the other writer, “Why don’t we pull private sector wages up”? Because people buy junk grade clothes, toys, furnishings from Wal-Mart aka China. I wonder what teachers in China make these days.

    • Public School Teacher For Life

      I teach English, and I make $42,000. I’m happy with that. I don’t think anyone has a right to the money that is taken out of each check for my pension, except for me. No one else should ever be able to touch that money. If it isn’t there when I go to collect it, I will know it’s been stolen, as others’ pensions have been stolen in the past. Instead of trying to cut down public employees, on the grounds that they have more security than private-sector employees, why don’t private-sector employees demand their rights as well? Why don’t we focus on bringing people UP instead of cutting our neighbors down? We can ALL have a decent standard of living. This country works hard. Why aren’t we asking where our money is going? If we don’t all have a good standard of living, it’s because someone is stealing from us. It isn’t my $42,000 a year that is causing anyone hardship. If corporate tax-dodgers paid what they owe, we could all afford life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • macman2

    what a right wing slanted story. how about a comment from the union?

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