June 28, 2015 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie on Friday signed a $33.8 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins Wednesday, vetoing tax increases passed by the Legislature to fund the pension system but extending an olive branch to Democrats by proposing an increase in a tax credit for the working poor. Christie used his line-item veto authority to nix measures passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature to raise taxes on income exceeding $1 million and on corporations, which Democrats said would have generated more than $1 billion in revenue.
June 27, 2015 |
TRENTON - New Jersey lawmakers passed a $35.3 billion budget Thursday along party lines that Democrats say makes a full contribution to the pension system for public workers, even as Gov. Christie is almost certain to veto the tax hikes that help fund it. Christie said on NJ 101.5's Ask the Governor program Thursday evening that the Legislature appeared to be adopting "another ridiculous budget. " Of the lawmakers, Christie said: "I think it's safe to say they have spent a lot of money that we don't have.
June 25, 2015 |
TRENTON - New Jersey Democrats' top priority in passing a budget for the fiscal year that begins next Wednesday is to make a full contribution to the underfunded pension system for public workers. They have taken familiar steps to accomplish this, such as pushing legislation that would raise taxes on the state's highest earners and on corporations. Those components are part of a budget they advanced in committee Tuesday, setting up a full vote by the Legislature on Thursday. But Democrats also used a slick accounting maneuver to say they are making the full $3.1 billion payment for fiscal 2016, as was required by a 2011 law. (A state Supreme Court decision this month struck down that requirement.)
June 24, 2015 |
TRENTON - New Jersey Democrats on Monday unveiled the broad contours of the budget they will submit to Gov. Christie, saying they would make a full contribution to the underfunded pension system by raising taxes on businesses and the state's highest earners. Christie, a Republican who says he will announce whether he is running for president by the end of the month, has vowed not to raise taxes. The state constitution requires the Legislature to pass, and the governor to sign, a balanced budget by next Tuesday.
June 15, 2015 |
When New Jersey's high court ruled last week that Gov. Christie had the authority to cut billions from payments he had promised the state pension system, it spared the governor a massive budget shortfall as he prepares to announce a presidential decision. Though the legal victory over public-worker unions averted immediate crisis, it did not relieve Christie - or state lawmakers - of a reality less worthy of campaign-trail celebration: an unfunded pension liability that continues to strain the state budget and funds for many workers at risk of running out of money within the next decade.
June 11, 2015 |
Gov. Christie on Tuesday claimed a significant legal victory in a yearlong battle with public-sector unions over pension funding, even as analysts warned that the state's long-term fiscal condition remained precarious. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the state could not grant public workers a legally enforceable contract to greater pension funding, even though Christie signed a 2011 law establishing just that. In a 5-2 decision, the justices said that the state constitution prohibited the governor and the Legislature from establishing such a contract without voter approval, because it would create a long-term debt.
May 21, 2015 |
TRENTON - Even as the New Jersey Supreme Court considers whether Gov. Christie violated public workers' rights by slashing this year's payment to their pension system, the state treasurer and the Legislature's top budget analyst said Tuesday that New Jersey doesn't have the money to make a full contribution. "I think, frankly, that ship has sailed," Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told the Senate Budget Committee. "If the Supreme Court were to direct the state to make the additional payment before June 30, I'm not sure that that's fiscally or physically possible," David Rosen, budget and finance officer for the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS)
May 16, 2015 |
SPARTA, N.J. - Between forays to the presidential testing grounds of New Hampshire, Gov. Christie on Thursday picked up his New Jersey pension battle where he left it off, debating a retired teacher at a town-hall-style meeting. The Republican governor, who argues that the state can no longer afford its public-worker pension system without changes, presented what he said were the only options for fully funding it: large hikes in the sales tax or in the income tax for every New Jerseyan.
May 9, 2015 |
TRENTON - New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney introduced legislation Thursday that would raise the marginal tax rate on income above $1 million, a measure he said would help fund the pension system, but one that almost certainly will be vetoed by Gov. Christie. Sweeney (D., Gloucester) also proposed increasing a tax credit for the poor. Christie, a Republican, cut that credit in 2010 amid a budget shortfall. "No one likes to increase any tax," Sweeney said in a statement, "and it would not be necessary to do so if New Jersey did not rank near the bottom in economic, revenue, and job growth under the Christie administration.