Florio came into office promising no new taxes. But, he raised income and sales tax rates, as he put it, to put the state on firm financial footing, to provide more education funding for needy and other school districts, and to provide property tax relief generally. Many New Jerseyans did not like the trade-off, and more objected to being misled. In the 1991 midterm elections, they made the Governor pay by ousting scads of Democratic legislators and giving the Republicans veto-proof majorities in both the Senate and General Assembly.
he party in the legislature has not been united or aggressive enough in promoting workable policy alternatives to those posed by members of the opposition party. On these terms, the time for senior statesmen in the legislature, at least passive ones, is over. What the GOP needs are more firebrands who will stand up to the Governor and to Democratic legislative leaders and who will take on sacred cows like Abbott funding, the current civil service system, and the amount of government spending in several policy areas.