MONROE – Addressing what he wants to do with unforseen revenues, Gov. Chris Christie said he would put roughly $250 million into the pension system and another $225 million toward property tax rebates.
Speaking in a factory warehouse in the center of this sprawling Middlesex County suburb, Christie said, “What we do in the next 43 days is going to be key,” referring to the state budget timeline.
State Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff said this week the state will absorb $511 million more revenue than he projected when the governor proposed his $29.4 billion budget earlier this year.
Press Secretary Michael Drewniak fleshed out the governor’s plan in a conversation with PolitickerNJ.com.
“First, the Governor will increase by 50% (from $506 million to $759 million) the pension payment that he will make for Fiscal Year 2011 if pension reform is passed by the legislature before June 30,” Drewniak said. “Second, the Governor will increase funding for the Homestead Benefit property tax credit by $225 million. And, if health benefit reform gets done, New Jerseyans will see their property tax relief triple instead of doubling via the Homestead Benefits program.”
After a communications snafu, Mayor Richard Pucci, a Democrat running in this competitive legislative district, appeared with Christie this afternoon at Christie’s town hall in front of a sizeable crowd relative to another 14th District event the governor recently held in the 14th District.
A day after Christie talked to Fox News personality Sean Hannity and sent a sound garbled video to the NJ Correspondence dinner in his stead, a depleted press corps chronicled the event in the rain-spattered, concrete-floored warehouse.
The governor went head to head with one audience member, a senior who told Christie to revist his “pencil pushers” in Trenton regarding school aid. Not disagreeing with the man’s point that he’s getting “screwed,” Christie said the problem lies in the schools funding formula.