Governor Christie is a busy man at this weekend’s NGA meeting in Washington, D.C., Save Jerseyans. His rockstar status remains intact for journalists anticipating golden verbal nuggets to fill their beat reports.
Back home, things are getting a bit more complicated. Two staff writers at The Bergen Record believe that Governor Christie’s FY 2013 budget “alienates” his “fan base.” I’m not sure I’d go that far. “Concerned” might be more accurate based off of my conversations. Introduced on Tuesday before the state legislature, Christie’s proposed budget is the largest ever in terms of real dollars and money allotted to education funding. It’s a strategic budget to be sure, and it has consequently stirred plenty of controversy in Republican circles.
Supporters and surrogates say “It’s a great start” given the far-left composition of the legislature and considering the extremely poor financial conditions inherited by the Governor in January ’10. They also note that about 60-70% of the spending increase is actually debt/pension service that had been neglected by prior administrations. The Governor views his proposal as “fiscally conservative” in the budget hawk sense of the phrase.
Not everyone agrees. Many conservatives are unimpressed with the size, scope, and lack of additional spending cuts in the new budget. They argue the Governor’s $32.1 billion budget represents an increase of more than 8% over FY 2012 and, as such, is the opposite of progress; still others quibble with the actual revenue projections, arguing they’re much too rosy and inconsistent with economic indicators. The question remains: are these newly annoyed folks? Or just the same old RINO-hunting crowd that hasn’t liked Christie since he announced in February ’09?
I only care what YOU think, Save Jerseyans. The talking heads are almost universally in the tank one way or the other. Does this budget affect your level of support for our Governor?