Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Yesterday, the Assembly Budget Committee met to hear testimony on Governor Chris Christie's plan to close the current fiscal year's budget shortfall. Christie's plan includes cutting aid for schools, hospitals, colleges, public transit and job creation and was done through executive order with neither public analysis nor debate.

The hearing went on for hours and although she was told there was a five minute limit on testimony, former New Jersey teacher Carole Moore didn't seem to care. She certainly didn't obey the time limit, but her ideas were interesting and her testimony was feisty.

Moore suggested firing teachers who aren't good at their jobs and making kids walk to school rather than take a bus. She then told members of the committe that in New Jersey there is one state employee for every one citizen, but in other states there's one state employee for every five citizens. Moore admitted, "Okay, I don't really know about that, but it seems that way and you get the idea."

Assemblyman Lou Greenwald, the panel's chairman got a big laugh when he said, "That's okay. Let's not let facts get in the way." Greenwald then told Moore that she was given more than her share of time. He asked her to summarize her testimony without reading from her very long written statement. Moore complained that other people who had testified before her got plenty of time and she went right back to reading her statement.

Greenwald said, "Carole, I'm going to make you a one-time special offer." He invited Moore back to his private office to tell him what else she had to say, but that wasn't good enough for Moore. She was concerned that the other members of the committee wouldn't get to hear her ideas. Republican Joe Malone then offered to attend the impromtu meeting as well. I'm glad I was not a fly on the wall for that meeting.

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