Christie Pitches $1.2B Budget Bump

Increased Education, Pension Payments Drive Largest Budget Since 2008

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

christie with kidsBrace yourselves, Save Jerseyans: Governor Chris Christie pitched a $32.9 billion FY 2014 budget on Tuesday afternoon in Trenton.

That’s $1.2 billion more than the state allotted for FY 2013.

The major spending increases? A $1.676 billion payment to the state’s pension fund and a  $97.3 million increase to education spending after a $2 billion increase for FY 2013. Total state aid to New Jersey schools is now close to $9 billion. Governor Christie did announce “$2 million in scholarship grants” for children in chronically failing schools to transfer to out-of-district schools (public or private), a hat tip grace note to the long-languishing Opportunity Scholarship Act.

My question: why not allocate the almost $2.1 billion added back into the bloated education budget to school choice programs? Or use his tremendous political capital to push the Democrat legislature towards deeper cuts? He certainly would have cause to do so given our weak economy and the expense associated with recovering from Sandy! I can’t answer this one for you…

Governor Christie’s team is quick to point out that Governor Christie’s first budget for FY 2011 budget represented a 8.3% decrease over FY 2010. The other way to look at it? This would also be the largest budget since 2008 (when Corzine & Co. spent well over $33 billion).

As always, I invite you to draw your own conclusions. Did you miss it altogether? Click here to read the text of his prepared remarks.

Matt Rooney

Matt Rooney

Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, Matt Rooney is a widely-respected New Jersey political commentator, practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights, and a graduate of the Rutgers Camden School of Law.

12 Comments

  1. This man is a technocrat working the system like a democrat would. no big ideas, no big changes or reform, no serious cuts. The only thing that Christie does big is, well you know. Just 'manage' the system and let incrementalism take over.

  2. It's a 3.8% increase. And revenues will be down because, like it or not, many shore areas will not be rebuilt in time for the summer so income tax and sales tax revenues will decline.

    So where's the money coming from? I need tax relief. South Carolina is looking better every day!

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