Thursday, October 21, 2010


This morning started out with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie once again ripping into Democratic leaders in the state legislature for not taking action on his 33-bill "tool kit" package that he says will help curb property tax increases. New Jersey has the highest average property tax bill in the nation. Christie is constantly berating Democrats for what he considers to be their inaction. Each day a press release from his office offers a countdown showing how many days are left until the new 2-percent cap on property tax hikes goes into effect.

Early this afternoon, Democrats had their shot. They claim Christie isn't providing the necessary fiscal estimates to help legislators decide if they even want to vote on his proposals. State Senate President Steve Sweeney said, "Enough with the garbage," of Christie grabbing headlines with over-the-top quotes. He says the Governor should stop traveling around the country campaigning for GOP hopefuls and stay home and help fix this state's problems.

Democrats then unveiled a bill that would not cap awards at 2-percent for arbitators who are settling contract disputes between municipalities and police and firefighter unions. Christie is demanding a hard 2-percent cap. Democrats say he's not going to get it and Sweeney also claims arbitration reform in any form won't save much for taxpayers anyway.

Today marks two weeks since Christie killed the Access to the Region's Core (ARC) Tunnel project which was the largest construction project in America. The Governor said the state can't afford the cost overruns that could reach $5 billion dollars. The trans-Hudson rail tunnel does not stop at a major station in New York like Penn Station. It would end in the basement of Macy's in Herald Square.

This afternoon, Assembly Transportation Committee chairman John Wisniewski released a statement saying he has internal Christie Administration documents showing a report that states the overall project remains within budget. That report came two days before Christie nixed the ARC Tunnel citing the cost overruns.

Last Friday, Christie had a closed-door meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood after which the Governor released a statement saying he would review options for two weeks and that brings us to tomorrow. It's not likely an announcement on Christie's ARC Tunnel decision will come tomorrow. Something like this is too big to waste on the Saturday newspapers, but with this Governor you never know.

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