Morning News Digest: February 25th

Budget Address

Firefighter Rep Donnelly goes after NJEA leadership after Christie budget speech

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie won the support of key Building Trades unions’ reps in his first term by seizing on fractures between those private sector unions and public sector labor.

This afternoon, his budget address sparked a fight among public sector reps, as New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (NJFMBA) President Eddie Donnelly trained his immediate sights on the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Firefighter Rep Donnelly goes after NJEA leadership after Christie budget speech | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

‘Shocked’ by budget address, Sweeney and Senate Dems upbraid Christie’s pension plans

TRENTON — Senate Democrats, calling the Republican’s new proposal to overhaul the pension and benefit system a “some roadmap written on a cocktail napkin,” roundly condemned Gov. Chris Christie’s budget address today for failing to lay out a vision for the state’s economy and finances in 2016. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

‘Shocked’ by budget address, Sweeney and Senate Dems upbraid Christie’s pension plans | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Republican Leaders praise Christie’s pension ‘roadmap’

TRENTON — Two of Trenton’s top Republican leaders applauded Gov. Chris Christie’s commitment to fixing an ailing pension and benefit system moments after the executive delivered his latest budget address during a joint legislative session on the Assembly floor here today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Republican Leaders praise Christie budget address, pension ‘roadmap’ | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Assembly Dems question administration budget big on pension fixes but short on other issues

TRENTON — Assembly Democrats bashed Gov. Chris Christie’s budget address today for being heavy on talk about fixing a broken public pension and benefit system — but virtually nonexistent on anything else. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

http://politickernj.com/2015/02/assembly-dems-question-budget-big-on-pension-fixes-but-short-on-other-issues/

 

 

 

In the wake of Governor’s budget address: DeAngelo v. Bucco

TRENTON – On the heels of a report by the New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission, which Gov. Chris Christie held up as his budget “Roadmap,” Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo (D-14), called the state’s condition financial Armageddon, while his colleague on the other side of the aisle, Assemblyman Tony Bucco (R-25), clung to Christie’s promise not to raise taxes.

Bucco’s statement was one of a block of pro-budget speech statements issuing out of the Assembly Minority Office as lawmakers from both parties cleared the Statehouse. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

In the wake of Governor’s budget address: DeAngelo v. Bucco | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Pen/Ben Study Commission issues proposal to freeze existing pen plans

Appointed by Gov. Chris Christie last year, the New Jersey Pension and Health Benefits Study Commission today released its final report, which Christie this afternoon used as the touchstone of his budget speech, but which Democrats said is notable only insofar as no deal exists.

The report proposes overhauling the pension and health benefits systems for all public employees in the State of New Jersey. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Pen/Ben Study Commission issues proposal to freeze existing pen plans | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

The full text of Gov. Chris Christie’s budget address

Complicated by Judge’s ruling yesterday, Governor’s “Roadmap” with NJEA calls for the existing pension plan to be frozen and replaced by a ‘new plan.’ Proposed $33.8B Budget is 3.1% higher than last year; and there is nothing in the plan that immediately addresses the depleted state Transportation Trust Fund. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)

The full text of Gov. Chris Christie’s budget address | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Under shadow of budget address, Judiciary quietly approves Chrisite’s Pinelands Commission nominee

TRENTON — Under the cover of a budget address scheduled for delivery by Gov. Chris Christie’s just moments from now, the Senate Judiciary Committee quietly passed a long-awaited but controversial appointment to the state’s Pineland Commission at their contentious hearing today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

Judiciary quietly approves Pinelands Commission nominee under shadow of budget address | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Fulop, at State of the City address, contrasts Jersey City economy with N.J. under Christie

JERSEY CITY – Before a packed crowd at City Hall, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop tried to draw a bright line between the economic state of affairs in New Jersey’s second-largest city and the troubled affairs of the Garden State under New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during his State of the City address. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Fulop, at State of the City address, contrasts Jersey City economy with N.J. under Christie | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Jury selection begins in Ferriero corruption trial

NEWARK – Jury selection began in the federal corruption trial of former Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) Chairman Joseph Ferriero on Tuesday with the traditional legal process of voir dire, or questioning of the potential jurors.

U.S. District Judge Esther Salas commenced the process in Newark by reminding an assembled group of approximately 50 potential jurors what is at stake during the trial, which is expected to last up to an estimated eight weeks. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

Jury selection begins in Ferriero corruption trial | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

While Christie Dithers

New Jersey’s transportation fund is about to go broke. The only way out, it seems clear, is to raise the state’s gasoline tax, which, at 14.5 cents per gallon, is the second-lowest in the country. (Resource-rich Alaska has the lowest tax.)

Raising taxes is never easy. But strong, decisive leaders welcome the opportunity to make tough decisions.

So far, Chris Christie has ducked the issue. He appears to be more interested in caucus-goers in Iowa and primary voters in New Hampshire than he is in cleaning up the mess in New Jersey. His lack of interest in his current job is leading to disaster – not only are bridges on the verge of collapse, but so is the state’s budget. Mr. Christie promised to fix the state’s underfunded pension system, but like his predecessors, he has chosen to forgo payments to the fund. On Monday, a judge ordered him to make good on a promised $1.6 billion contribution this year, and more in the coming years. Suddenly, Chris Christie has a huge fiscal crisis on his hands. (Editors/New York Observer)

http://observer.com/2015/02/while-christie-dithers/#ixzz3SlGEISCa

 

 

 

Christie focuses budget address on pension system

It was a rousing welcome but an unusual budget speech. (Aron/NJTV)

Christie Focuses Budget Address on Pension System

 

 

 

Stile: Teachers union unlikely partner in Christie’s pension overhaul

Governor Christie sold it as one of the biggest political coups of recent New Jersey history — a plan to dramatically restructure New Jersey’s public-employee pension system with a new and very improbable partner, the New Jersey Education Association. (Stile/The Bergen Record)

http://www.northjersey.com/news/stile-teachers-union-unlikely-partner-in-christie-s-pension-overhaul-1.1277147

 

 

 

Gov. Chris Christie Panel Proposes Overhaul of New Jersey’s Pension System

Gov. Chris Christie’s committee to study New Jersey’s troubled pension system wants to overhaul the retirement program for public employees, freezing the current setup and replacing it with a “cash balance” plan.

The plan would spread out the current pension system’s unfunded liability over many years, and would more closely reflect benefits in the private sector, according to members of the commission. Mr. Christie endorsed the report conclusions Tuesday in a speech to the Legislature. (Dawsey/The Wall Street Journal)

http://www.wsj.com/articles/christie-committee-proposes-overhaul-of-new-jerseys-pension-system-1424809538

 

 

 

Pension Haunt Christie 4 Years After Being ‘Fixed’

TRENTON — Four years ago, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey signed bipartisan legislation to overhaul public employee pensions and declared he had “fixed” the problem that was crushing state and local governments across the country with enormous debts. He held up New Jersey as a model.

On Tuesday, he was back at the State House here talking about public employee pensions, pushing again “a bipartisan solution” that he vowed would be a “national model” to “once and for all fix this problem.” (Zernike/The New York Times)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/nyregion/chris-christie-of-new-jersey-budget-address.html?_r=0

 

 

 

Architect says assemblywoman was involved in planning luxurious shore home

TRENTON — The architect of a luxurious shore home that state Assemblywoman Linda Stender’s husband wanted a Habitat for Humanity affiliate to construct for him said today that the assemblywoman was involved in the home design process. (Friedman/NJ.com)

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/architect_says_nj_assemblywoman_was_involved_in_pl.html

 

 

 

Chris Christie: ‘No new taxes’ in New Jersey

Chris Christie on Tuesday said New Jersey should not raise taxes to close a budget shortfall — a decision that will likely endear him to 2016 Republican primary voters but rules out a potential source of funding for the state’s major fiscal problems.

In his Tuesday afternoon address to New Jersey lawmakers at the statehouse in Trenton, Christie also called for major pension reform, billing himself as a governor willing to make tough decisions without raising taxes. (Topaz/Politico)

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/chris-christie-budget-new-jersey-115453.html#ixzz3SlH6QmHO

 

 

 

PBA head challenges Christie to ‘look beyond presidential ambitions’ on pension front

Following up on an earlier statement clarifying that his organization would “never support freezing pensions for our members who have continued paying their required pension contributions while government has skipped their legal responsibility to do so,” the president of a major public sector union in New Jersey further distanced himself from Gov. Chris Christie’s new proposal to overhaul the state’s pension and benefit system. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)

PBA head challenges Christie to ‘look beyond presidential ambitions’ on pension front | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Source: the Democratic Primary challengers in LD20

Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) yesterday seated Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-20) as the establishment replacement for Sheriff Joe Cryan.

Holley will run on the line with incumbent Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20).

But who will run against Quijano and Holley.

A source close to the Elizabeth Board of Education said the BOE has narrowed its selection down to three names: attorney Madeline Fajardo; veteran BOE leader Rafael Fajardo (pictured, above, on Election Day in Elizabeth last year); and Board Member Tony Monteiro. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)

Source: the Democratic Primary challengers in LD20 | New Jersey News, Politics, Opinion, and Analysis

 

 

 

Union County Confidential

As PolitickerNJ reporter Mark Bonamo noted yesterday, former Rahway Mayor Jim Kennedy and Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr (pictured) stand poised to step forward in the event that Assemblywoman (D-22) cannot continue. (Editor/PolitickerNJ)

Union County Confidential: the back chatter behind the Stender mess

 

 

 

Christie’s pension crusade could be his salvation

If Gov. Chris Christie wanted to crawl back into bed after his big budget speech yesterday, no one could blame him. (Moran/The Star-Ledger)

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/02/christies_pension_crusade_could_be_his_salvation_m.html#incart_river

 

 

 

Christie taking pension overhaul pitch to voters today

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie is taking his message for pension reform on the road and across the airwaves today after he introduced a $33.8 billion state budget proposal on Tuesday. (Arco/NJ.com)

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/christie_taking_pension_overhaul_pitch_to_voters_t.html#incart_river

 

 

 

NJEA accuses Christie of overstating pension deal

TRENTON — The teachers union Gov. Chris Christie touted as an ally today in his annual state budget address says the governor “overstated” their partnership. (Arco/NJ.com)

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/njea_deeply_disappointed_in_christie_for_overstati.html#incart_river

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning News Digest: February 25th