PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano talked to New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak about his proposal to raise taxes on individuals who make over $350,000 annually, but to repeal the state’s estate tax.

He claims his plan would result in more than $850 million in new revenue for the Garden State.

Lesniak says his primary concern is protecting the pensions of public employees.

“The problem is multi-faceted and it’s not simple. First and foremost, we have to secure the pension payments so that folks, when they retire after work, can rely on their retirement income. That’s true whether it’s public employees or private employees. That should be a bond and a commitment that should be kept,” he said.

Lesniak commented that wealthy New Jersey residents making more than $350,000 would welcome the tax hike to get rid of the estate tax.

“The estate tax is the biggest burden on wealthy New Jerseyans, who leave the state and deprive us of their assets and their business and go to other states. My proposal is to repeal the estate tax,” Lesniak stated.

He says he believes his idea finds middle ground that both sides can agree on.

“There has to be a solution that is reasonable across the board, and a solution that jeopardizes worker’s pensions is not a solution at all,” Lesniak explained.

However, he also criticized Governor Chris Christie for spending too much time campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 instead of being part of the solution for New Jersey’s fiscal issues.

“One of the problems is, I’m sorry, but Governor Christie has to come back to the state and start paying attention and stop campaigning,” Lesniak said.

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