JACKSON – Voters will have a chance to get rid of the “do-nothing” Legislature.
That was the message Gov. Chris Christie had for a standing-room crowd of about 500 people Tuesday while explaining a timeline of his proposals on reforming pensions, health care benefits, and education, among other subjects at a lively town hall meeting.
He said he received assurances in a Dec. 8 press conference from Senate President Stephen Sweeney that he would work on reforming pensions and health benefits
Christie said, “I took him at his word” in December.
The cost, he said, is “destroying the state’s economy.”
He added that Speaker of the Assembly Shelia Oliver also promised him.
“They not only promised me. By extension, they promised you,” Christie said.
He said Jackson could save $13.8 million on pensions over 10 years.
“This isn’t garbage,” he said, referring to Sweeney’s earlier remarks on his “tool kit” reform proposals.
He encouraged residents to email the Democratic legislators about making progress.
“It could be a very easy message…get to work.”
Emphasizing the increasingly intense nature of the squabble, both sides of the aisle had responses ready after the town hall.
John Wisniewski, the Democratic State Committee chairman, said in a release: “It’s ironic the governor would criticize the Legislature, when he’s really the do-nothing executive.’’ Wisniewski was referencing numerous bills that he said would have helped families but which Christie vetoed.
And a spokesman for the Senate Republicans issued a statement reminding that the GOP has been calling for some time for a package of approximately 15 “tool-kit” bills to be posted for votes but that it is the Democrats who are holding off.