By David Madden and Steve Patterson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–New Jersey is in good shape and getting better in the eyes of the Governor. Legislative Democrats would beg to differ.
More people are working, taxes are under control and streets are safer, but Governor Chris Christie wants to improve on a number of fronts.
On the top of the list is education.
“Life in 2014 is much different than life 100 years ago. It is time to lengthen both the school day and the school year in New Jersey.”
But that’s just one of the initiatives that’ll cost money Christie says the state doesn’t have because of commitments to the pension fund.
NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney responded, “To say we can do all of these programs, but we have to choose between funding the pension system and paying our bills. We can do all of these wonderful things. That wasn’t an honest conversation.”
Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, in the Democratic response, suggested it was time to seek more money from those who can afford it.
“The wealthier and getting wealthier by greater percentages than working class families, and certainly the poor that we continue to struggle with.”
The only mention of “Bridgegate” by the Governor was pledged to cooperate with all “appropriate inquiries.”
Following Christie’s speech, NJ Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said, “Public safety and abuse of power are the number one issue. We have to make sure as a legislative body that it doesn’t happen again.”