Christie calls special session

Gov. Chris Christie today called the Legislature back to Trenton for a special legislative session. In a letter to legislative

Gov. Chris Christie today called the Legislature back to Trenton for a special legislative session.

In a letter to legislative leaders Christie demanded the Legislature come back to work on tax relief, telling legislators they have a fundamental choice to make.

“Continue to move forward by letting people, and not government, enjoy more of the earnings produced by their own labor, or take a step back to repeat the days where taxes are the answer to each and every challenge,” said Christie.

Christie told the lawmakers he wants to address both houses of the Legislature when they convene.

“When you convene this Monday at 11:00 a.m., I will ask for the opportunity to address your members on the two paths that face all who are fortunate enough to serve as elected representatives,” he said.

This year, Christie sought a tax cut initially proposed at 10 percent of income taxes paid.  But two competing plans emerged from Democrats and the governor signaled in recent weeks that he was amenable to a deal with the Senate on a plan that would provide a 10 percent credit on property taxes paid.

In the end, the budget contained the funding for a tax cut, but was not accompanied by the legislation to authorize it.  Christie was incensed over the failure to provide a tax cut and vowed to make Democrats pay for the slight.

Further antagonizing the governor, for the third year in a row, the Democrat-controlled Legislature passed a tax on incomes over $1 million, this year tying it to an increase in the Homestead Benefit program.  Christie has vetoed the bill twice, but this year, sources have said he will conditionally veto it, rewriting it instead into a tax cut.

While Christie can call the special session, lawmakers are not required to take action. 

On Friday, Christie slashed $361 million from the budget passed by the Legislature, using the power of the line item veto to take aim at several programs favored by Democrats.  

Christie calls special session